Hawks Walk Away From Niemi
It is being reported that the Chicago Blackhawks have walked away from the $2.75 Million arbitration award that was awarded to goalie Antti Niemi. The Hawks have had little to no room under the cap this off-season and it has forced them to walk away from this contract.
Many people are questioning why the Hawks would do this, but unfortunately this is something that the Hawks cannot help, If they were to sign Niemi this season it could have meant that when Brent Seabrook's contract is up next year, he would be a goner. So who do the Hawks look to replace their Stanley cup winning goalie ?
Enter 3 time All-Star Marty Turco. Now while many people have said that he is getting older and is past his prime, i disagree. He signed a 1 year deal worth reportedly$1.3 Million Per year and will be playing on the best defensive team of his career so far. I think Turco has something to prove to the league and he is smart for picking a team like the Hawks to do that with. The better the defense the less work for a goalie.
Many people are also saying that the Hawks will struggle to even make the playoffs especially now because of this latest news headline. Marty Turco is more than qualified enough to give the Blackhawks the same level of goaltending if not better, Let's not forget that it is also only a 1 year deal. The Hawks have a young goalie coming up from the minors that has been paying his dues for the last 4 or 5 years due to players like the Bulin wall and more recently Huet, That player is Cory Crawford and he almost won the job over Niemi last year out of training camp.
Crawford will finally get his shot as a backup and from there who knows, Maybe he steals the job from Turco half way through the season. The Hawks have an extremely solid top two lines and as equally strong top 4 defensive pairing and now they have a 3 time All-Star goalie. The outlook for these Hawks and their fans is not as dim as many around the league may have you believe. It has been an interesting Off-Season for the Blackhawks organization and their fans to say the least.