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The Latest on Antti Niemi’s Search for a Team

Posted By Corey Krakower On Aug 3 2010 @ 1:55 pm In Around The Rinks | 4 Comments

All the talk in the NHL right now is about Antti Niemi. No one was prepared for the Chicago Blackhawks to decide that they are pro-Turco and Anti-Niemi, and so the NHL is left with a bunch of teams scrambling to make room for a Stanley cup winning goaltender; while that same goalie remains homeless. Come to think of it, if Niemi stays homeless, when his time comes for a day with the Stanley Cup, he can use it to collect spare change on the street. Niemi will in all likelihood play in the NHL this year, and for those wondering if there has been any progress thus far; here is the latest on Niemi’s discussions with 8 NHL teams.

Edmonton Oilers – they are rumored to be a fit, but they would need to clear a roster spot first. They could ask Nikolai Khabibulin to call up some KHL teams and find a place to go, but this is a difficult task, mostly because you only get 1 phone call from prison.

Toronto Maple Leafs – right away, Brian Burke said that Toronto is not interested in signing Antti Niemi; citing confidence in JS Giguere and not wanting to worry Jonas Gustavvson about possibly losing his job which would result in another heart attack.

Ottawa Senators – The Senators’ GM came out and said he is happy to go with Pascal Leclaire and Brian Elliott as his goalies. Ironically, when Leclaire grabbed the paper to read that, he suffered a freak paper cut injury, and now the Sens do need Niemi.

Philadelphia Flyers – while Niemi would be a great fit in Philly, the players secretly do not want him. They don’t need someone else who has an easily accessible 5-hole; obviously a reference to Leighton’s goaltending, and according to Jeff Carter, Scott Hartnell’s wife.

Washington Capitals – Niemi immediately started interviewing with teams when the news broke, and part of the first series of meetings was with the Caps. Washington has not heard from Niemi since, and when they called his agent to ask about a second round of interviews, the response was “I heard you’re always out after the first round.”

Columbus Blue Jackets – Columbus was thought to be a perfect fit for Niemi, where he could play alongside Steve Mason. GM Scott Howson told Niemi “we see you battling with Steve Mason for the number one spot”. Niemi declined, as he is looking for something more challenging.

New York Rangers – one offer Niemi found attractive was the one presented to him by the New York Rangers. Apparenty, John Tortorella agreed to a clause in Niemi’s potential contract which is a promise to let him shoot before Marian Gaborik in shootouts.

Montreal Canadiens – Carey Price was asked about the Habs possibly being interested in Antti Niemi. Price was angered by the question, and responded “the only ‘Antti’ I want around is my ‘Anti’ Inflammatory medication.”

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