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Niemi No Longer The Man In Chicago

from David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune,

Now, months after fans at the United Center chanted Niemi’s name, I have heard from many people trying to disparage it. Suddenly the Finn who beat out Cristobal Huet and outplayed Roberto Luongo is merely serviceable?

Not only is it unnecessary to minimize Niemi’s contributions to justify the Blackhawks’ tough decision to let him become a free agent, doing so unfairly portrays the team as the winner in this standoff. Breaking news: Nobody won here. I don’t need an arbitrator’s ruling to declare this one of those rare cases of lose-lose.

The Hawks lost a 26-year-old goaltender whose Cup experience one day may work against them. Niemi lost out on the chance to play behind a team full of elite defensemen for a first-class organization that gave him an opportunity in a great city that considers the Finn part of hockey history.

He will be missed. The Hawks just found “Nemo.’’ Now we have to say goodbye?


added 7:25am, from Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Move on, get over it and get to know Jack Skille, Bryan Bickell, Jake Dowell, Viktor Stalberg and, of course, veteran goalie Marty Turco.

That would be my advice to Blackhawks fans who are ready to tear their Indianhead sweaters to shreds because of the seemingly never-ending dismemberment of the team that won the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 49 years.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: antti+niemi


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com