If we had no Kovalchuk saga which unfortunately engulfed most of our summer the delay in signing a young, Stanley Cup winning goaltender like Antti Niemi would be unexpected. Possibly even unheard of.
Well, all is right now in the world as Niemi signed with a contender and pushed Antero Niittymaki from what seemed like his last chance to prove he would be a capable NHL starter. Whoever backs up Niemi will be decided during training camp according to The Mercury News. For now, all is well in the world and the Sharks look like they may be the team to beat despite not replacing Rob Blake on the blue line.
As more teams start to feel the effects of a cap-based world, even the true contenders can carry holes in their lineup. Expect a slight regression in peripherals without the elite tandem of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook but a great deal of wins.