Blackhawks Walk from Niemi Award; Sign Turco

Updated: August 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm by Alexander Monaghan

The Chicago Blackhawks decided that a 2.75 million award from an arbitrator simply would not fit under their cap and walked away from their Stanley Cup winning goaltender: Antti Niemi. In turn, they signed a soon-to-be 35-year-old to lead them back to the promised land– even though he failed to do this the majority of his career.

The farthest Turco ever came to glory was during the 2007-2008 campaign where he lost to Division rival Detroit Red Wings. Since then his statistics have only declined from a 2.32 GAA to 2.81 and 2.72. Clearly his better days are behind him and the Blackhawks will be forced to use Cristobal Huet once again.

Niemi should see his statistics suffer regardless of the team he is on (unless a team like the Sharks pick him up on a whim). With Chicago he faced the least shots in the league while the Blackhawks posted the most shots on the other end themselves.

Huet and Turco should be able to handle the role between the pipes but it will be weird seeing both Mike Modano and Turco on rival teams and neither a Dallas Star. Turco will reportedly make between a million and 1.5 million next season while Niemi will look for another job in the NHL with most spots already taken.

Maybe someone should have conveyed the risks of taking a cash-strapped contender to battle over a one-year contract.

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