Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/12/10 at 10:36 AM ET
from Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
The question remains: Do the Hawks have enough cap space to match the offer sheet for Hjalmarsson and sign restricted free-agent goalie Antti Niemi and enough players to fill out a roster?
It would seem as if Hjalmarsson is someone the Hawks can’t let go, a 23-year-old defenseman with a huge upside. Bowman himself recently said the Hawks’ defense, meaning Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brian Campbell and Hjalmarsson, was the strength of the team.
Niemi has filed for arbitration and his contract demands could be more than what the Hawks believe are reasonable for someone with one year of NHL experience, even though he won the Stanley Cup.
It’s possible the Hawks will let Niemi go to his arbitration hearing and hope for a favorable reward.
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