Today the Chicago Blackhawks and Antti Niemi met in an arbitration hearing to determine the salary of the goaltender for next season. Both sides, after having made their cases as to what they feel a fair salary would be, will now simply wait until a ruling is returned. The outcome of this ruling, for all intensive purposes, will determine how long Niemi will remain in a Blackhawks uniform. If the decided upon salary is too expensive for the Blackhawks, given their much publicized salary cap issues, they may be forced to trade their goalie and find a less expensive option.
However, if the ruling is around $2 million then there is potential for Niemi to be given a long term deal keeping him in a Blackhawks sweater. At this point there is no way anyone can speculate as to which side the arbitrator is leaning, but based on the recent $3.5 million deals signed by goalies Jaroslav Halak and Pekka Rinne, Stan Bowman has to keep all of his options open. Wes Goldstein of CBSSports.com breaks down the possibilities coming out the Niemi arbitration case and talks about other NHL news. To read Goldstein’s article click here.
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