Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/31/10 at 02:48 PM ET
via Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune at Chicago Breaking Sports,
According to multiple reports Saturday, an arbitrator has awarded Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi $2.75 million for next season.
That figure appears low enough that the Hawks could work under the NHL’s salary cap to retain the netminder or there is still a possibility general manager Stan Bowman could trade him.
The Hawks have 48 hours to decide whether to accept the award or walk away from it, allowing Niemi to become a free agent. They could also accept the award and then trade Niemi and sign a veteran free agent at a lower salary.
It’s believed Niemi asked for more than $3 million for the one-year contract during Thursday’s arbitration hearing in Toronto and that the Hawks were seeking a deal of around $2 million.
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