This signing probably should have happened yesterday with the extensions to Chris Phillips, Jimmy Howard and Justin Williams, but the Sharks weren’t planning on doing anything anyways. Enough with the potshots, here is your news:
Today, Antti Niemi re-signed with the San Jose Sharks, earning a four-year extension worth $15.2 million dollars.
Niemi represents a huge part of the team’s success over the past two months and arguably could be their MVP. The above picture, taken during the opening game of the year, seemed to be a metaphor for his season but the reigning Cup ‘tender definitely turned his season around as of late.
For as bad as Niemi was in the first two months, that is just how good he was over the past three months to quote Family Guy Tim McCarver. The 27-year-old sophomore saw his numbers balloon up to almost 4.00 before playing better than most netminders League-wide. The below referenced table simply explains it all:
Now understand that Niemi gets a contract he likely deserved before getting ousted by Stan Bowman and company in Chicago. Although a four-year contract may seem outlandish to some, this man is the reigning Cup victor and a PROVEN asset. In addition, his statistics line up to anyone over the past three months, as shown by the again below referenced table.
As we said, October and November withstanding, Niemi compares to literally any other netminder in the League. His statistics look better than current Vezina Trophy shoe-in Tim Thomas over January and February and to be honest his team might be better.
With the free agency options essentially Ilya Bryzgalov, Tomas Vokoun and Dwayne Roloson, the Sharks stick with the younger and actually more successful asset. Niemi’s contract out-dates Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley, Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle making their decision even more powerful. The Sharks found their keeper and if applicable so have you.
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