After hearing the case between the Blackhawks and goaltender Antti Niemi, the arbitrator ruled Saturday seemingly in favor of Niemi, granting the Finn $2.75 millionfor what would be a one-year contract. Bowman and the ‘Hawks now have 48 hours to accept the figure or walk away and allow Niemi to be an unrestricted free agent.
There’s also a possibility the ‘Hawks could sign the tender and trade Niemi, which may be the best for both sides. The Blackhawks have been rumored to be exploring the possibility of signing Marty Turco or Jose Theodore, with each of them saving the ‘Hawks over $1 million of cap space compared to Niemi’s now-set cap number.
It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out, but I’m stick to what I’ve been saying all along: Start preparing for life without Niemi.
Editor/founder of Cheer the Anthem, season ticket holder in Section 326 and full-time sports writer who lists June 9, 2010, as one of the greatest days of his life. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.