Hawks Let Niemi Go

Chicago, IL - The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to a one-year deal with Marty Turco on Monday, settling on a veteran goaltender to replace Stanley Cup hero Antti Niemi.

Bet NHL Future Odds
General manager Stan Bowman said the team expects ``immediate'' contributions from the 34-year-old Turco, played nine seasons with Dallas. He is a three-time All Star.
Terms were not disclosed.
The 26-year-old Niemi helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup this past season after earning $826,875 as a rookie. He was awarded a $2.75 million salary for next season by an arbitrator last week, putting the Blackhawks in a tough spot.
Bowman declined to say whether the team could have squeezed Niemi's award under the NHL's salary cap, set at $59.4 million next season.
``The salary cap has been talked about too much,'' Bowman said.
Bowman said he made several attempts to sign Niemi to a multiyear contract before the goalie's case went to arbitration.
Bowman said. ``This is the direction that made the most sense. You have to have flexibility within your roster and this was the best way to defend the Cup.''
Niemi, a Finn who signed with the Blackhawks in May 2008, becomes an unrestricted free agent. He played all but one period of the Blackhawks postseason run to the championship, going 16-6 with a 2.63 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and two shutouts.
Niemi is the eighth player to leave the Blackhawks since the team won its first Stanley Cup in 49 years, joining Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager, Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Adam Burish, Colin Fraser and Kris Versteeg.
Bowman said he had been eyeing Turco for some time and trying to coordinate the timing of the signing so another NHL team wouldn't take him.
``We talked it over and Marty is the guy we certainly had interest in for a long time here,'' Bowman said via conference call. ``We're fortunate that he had some patience with us, which speaks to the kind of guy he is and that he wants to be here.
``We've been working on parallel paths for a while.''
In his NHL career, Turco is 262-154-63 in 509 regular-season games with a 2.31 goals-against average and 40 shutouts. Last season, he went 22-20-11 with a 2.72 GAA, .913 save percentage and four shutouts.
The 5-foot-11 native of Sault Ste-Marie, Ontario, who turns 35 this month, is 21-26 with a 2.17 goals-against average in 47 playoffs games.
The Stars, however, have missed the postseason for two straight years.
``I haven't lost my confidence, although the last few years have been tough mentally because we haven't made the playoffs,'' Turco said. ``Part of the reason for going there (Chicago) is now you're on a team that has a chance to win every night and won a Stanley Cup last season.''
Turco added that he has ``never been better physically'' and that it was a ``dream come true'' to play for an Original Six NHL team that once had Tony Esposito, another Sault Ste-Marie native, in net.
``I had offers from other teams and multiyear deals, but I had a chance to be a part of this great organization,'' Turco said. ``Waiting, especially looking at it from today, doesn't seem that difficult.''
With the addition of Turco, Bowman said his team's roster is nearly set for 2010-11.
``We need to add a defenseman, but we're not going to be making wholesale changes at this point,'' he said. ``We're satisfied with what we have.''

Bet NHL Future Odds

Posted: 8/3/10 12:00AM ET

Recent NHL Discussions

Saturday Sharp Action NHL on Sat, Jan 2021 by Jimmythegreek
NHL STARS on Wed, Sep 2020 by iceman17
Chicago Blackhawks on Sat, Aug 2020 by Surfer
Loading...

NHL Predictions & Picks

Thumbnail Blues vs. Ducks NHL Prediction The Blues shook their offensive woes on Saturday night in their 7-6 win over the Sharks and will look to make it back-to-back wins on Monday night when they visit the...
Thumbnail Blue Jackets vs. Predators NHL Prediction The struggling Columbus Blue Jackets will look to right the ship on Sunday when they take on the Nashville Predators at 3:00 p.m. ET. Will the Predators...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Sharks Saturday Prediction The late night action in the NHL takes hockey fans to San Jose where the Sharks will host the Blues at 10:30 p.m. ET. Will the struggling Blues snap out of their...
Thumbnail Kings vs. Coyotes NHL Prediction The red-hot Kings are underdogs on Friday night in Minnesota where they’ll take on the Wild at 8:00 p.m. ET. Will Los Angeles cash another big ticket or is there a...
Thumbnail Flames vs. Senators NHL Prediction The total for Thursday night’s matchup between the Flames and Senators in Ottawa currently sits at 6.5 goals. Is that number too high? The puck drops at 7:00 p.m....

NHL Headlines