The Chicago Blackhawks still find themselves in a cap conundrum where they may need to choose whether to keep either Antti Niemi or sniping forward Patrick Sharp. According to Cap Geek, the team is already over the salary cap with Niemi still yet to sign, although negotiations continue.
So does this make Niemi expendable?
Looking at his Stanley Cup Finals, he never even broke a .900 SV% but that may just be me being picky. The only result that should matter in that situation is the W– essentially when the end justifies the means.
In the regular season, Niemi stunned pundits with his 2.25 GAA and 7 shutouts, which were good for third in the league.
If you look a bit further into the Blackhawk’s magical season they gave up the fewest shots-on-goal while registering the most SOG in the league. In other words, the puck barely came near the goaltender which explains Cristobal Huet putting up four shutouts and only a 2.50 GAA.
The Hawks should be strong enough with their top two lines of forwards and solid top four defenseman to repeat a similar type of play but asking them to lead the league in both categories is a stretch. Stan Bowman clearly needs to make the bleeding stop, likely by waiving Huet, so that this team and fantasy owners do not implode.