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Chicago Walks Away From Niemi, Sign Turco


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I thought for sure they would sign and trade Niemi. So what's the world of hockey coming to when Armstrong is paid 3m and recently Stanley Cup champion goalie isn't paid 2.75m by the team he won with? :lol:

With Chicago's defense still intact, Turco should fit well, maybe better and cheaper than Niemi.

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IMHO this is as much about Chicago believing that Corey Crawford is their "goalie of the future" as anything else. Im surprised they wouldnt keep Neimi and bury Huet in the minors, but I suppose they have their reasons. Will be interesting to see how this all plays out - and also to see where (and how much) Neimi signs for elsewhere.

It makes what we got for our stanley cup hero goaltender look better if Chicago is ready to just walk away from theirs with no compensation at all.

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IMHO this is as much about Chicago believing that Corey Crawford is their "goalie of the future" as anything else. Im surprised they wouldnt keep Neimi and bury Huet in the minors, but I suppose they have their reasons. Will be interesting to see how this all plays out - and also to see where (and how much) Neimi signs for elsewhere.

It makes what we got for our stanley cup hero goaltender look better if Chicago is ready to just walk away from theirs with no compensation at all.

I was thinking the same thing, at least we got 2 prospects in return.

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Stan Bowman seems unsure, for the time being, on how to handle the Huet situation. Sure, it would be lovely if they could just be rid of Huet and save themselves the cash, but it would have been nice if they could have figured that one out weeks ago in order to keep important players, IMO, like Ladd. I bet they would like to move Campbell, too. :lol: Fact of the matter is, yes, they have saved themselves some money by letting Neimi walk and signing Turco to a very reasonable contract. Heck, I would say Turco is probably a better goaltender, anyway. That's still not enough to fix the cap issues this team was left in when Bowman took over and they are still going to have to dismantle even more. It'd be hilarious if someone else sent an offer sheet over next summer, for like... Brent Seabrook! 'Cause he also needs to be re-upped and Chicago will need more cash for that sooner rather than later. What a mess.

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Stan Bowman seems unsure, for the time being, on how to handle the Huet situation. Sure, it would be lovely if they could just be rid of Huet and save themselves the cash, but it would have been nice if they could have figured that one out weeks ago in order to keep important players, IMO, like Ladd. I bet they would like to move Campbell, too. :lol: Fact of the matter is, yes, they have saved themselves some money by letting Neimi walk and signing Turco to a very reasonable contract. Heck, I would say Turco is probably a better goaltender, anyway. That's still not enough to fix the cap issues this team was left in when Bowman took over and they are still going to have to dismantle even more. It'd be hilarious if someone else sent an offer sheet over next summer, for like... Brent Seabrook! 'Cause he also needs to be re-upped and Chicago will need more cash for that sooner rather than later. What a mess.

My understanding is that even if they bury Huet in the minors and eliminate his cap hit completely they'll still be over the cap with their current group of players. Man, what a mess that filing mistake from last year has brought around, eh?

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Any chance for Niemi to bolt to the KHL?

There's always a chance, but I doubt it. Thus far the only guys in the Prime of their careers to leave for the KHL have been Russian. In addition to the hockey side of things, it's got to be a bonus for these guys to go home to their own language, culture, etc. and to be big stars in their native land. Niemi wouldn't have any more ties to Russia than someone from Vancouver or London.

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My understanding is that even if they bury Huet in the minors and eliminate his cap hit completely they'll still be over the cap with their current group of players. Man, what a mess that filing mistake from last year has brought around, eh?

They currently have 12 forwards, 5 D, and 2 goalies signed for 61.6 million. Take Huet's 5.6 off the cap and they have just enough room to finish off a roster.

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There's always a chance, but I doubt it. Thus far the only guys in the Prime of their careers to leave for the KHL have been Russian. In addition to the hockey side of things, it's got to be a bonus for these guys to go home to their own language, culture, etc. and to be big stars in their native land. Niemi wouldn't have any more ties to Russia than someone from Vancouver or London.

I agree in principle, although since Niemi is Finnish, Russia (especially a western Russia team) is still a geographical bonus for him. Being a 30 minute plane trip from your family in Finland would be a nice 'cherry on top' ;) But I do believe its unlikely he'll go (unless he cant get a job here).

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There's always a chance, but I doubt it. Thus far the only guys in the Prime of their careers to leave for the KHL have been Russian. In addition to the hockey side of things, it's got to be a bonus for these guys to go home to their own language, culture, etc. and to be big stars in their native land. Niemi wouldn't have any more ties to Russia than someone from Vancouver or London.

There's a first to everything: Trotter is the first young North American player to bolt for the KHL, if only for a season. Niemi could be the first Stanley Cup-winning goalie to bolt for the KHL. And Niemi would have no more ties to Russia than Esche does. Yet, Esche bolted to the RSL one year before the KHL became reality.

And the only North American seemingly poached in his prime was Esche; he was just inconsistent when he was a cheesepuff and he was poached by AK Bars Kazan. Did the Flyers have cap problems when Esche bolted for the RSL?

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There's a first to everything: Trotter is the first young North American player to bolt for the KHL, if only for a season. Niemi could be the first Stanley Cup-winning goalie to bolt for the KHL. And Niemi would have no more ties to Russia than Esche does. Yet, Esche bolted to the RSL one year before the KHL became reality.

And the only North American seemingly poached in his prime was Esche; he was just inconsistent when he was a cheesepuff and he was poached by AK Bars Kazan. Did the Flyers have cap problems when Esche bolted for the RSL?

I don't know if I'd really qualify Esche as 'bolting' for Russia in his prime. He probably wasn't going to be getting a starting job in the NHL anyway, and he was an unrestricted free agent. It's quite possible that the Flyers weren't looking to sign him back at all.

As for Niemi, he just won the cup and can probably be had for a very cheap salary. Although stranger things have happened, the only was I see him going over there is if no NHL team will sign him. Jed has a point about Finland being closer to Russia, but I still can't see it making enough of a difference for him to turn his back on a still-promising NHL career.

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They currently have 12 forwards, 5 D, and 2 goalies signed for 61.6 million. Take Huet's 5.6 off the cap and they have just enough room to finish off a roster.

Isn't their cap for this season something like $54M due to the bonuses paid out from the playoffs?

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And Niemi has about hit his prime. So he can't get much better, except if his next team's goalie coach is better than the one he had back in Chicago.

Tough to say. I would suggest that Odds are in your favor, but its certainly not a sure thing. Plenty of goalies have not hit their stride until well into their 30s.

A safer statement than "he can't get much better" would be "He could still get better, but its unlikely it will be much better."

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Tough to say. I would suggest that Odds are in your favor, but its certainly not a sure thing. Plenty of goalies have not hit their stride until well into their 30s.

A safer statement than "he can't get much better" would be "He could still get better, but its unlikely it will be much better."

I agree with you Jed... Huet was well into his 30's before he was recognized as a #1, so was Roloson.

Very interesting, not sure Turco has it in him anymore to play 50+ games a season... But they sure got him for a good price. To think, we could've signed Turco at probably the same price and he would've been a great mentor for Price. I'm still a lil bitter about them going with Auld... It worked well with Hackett and Moog, veterans at the end of their careers mentoring our young goalies (Thibo and Theo).

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I think there is a very real possibility that Niemi is out of the NHL this year. It's not that nobody wants him, it's that the arbitration was so late that everyone has paid their goalies for the year. If anyone picks him up, I would imagine it would be the Islanders. Unfortunately for them, they have an invisible goalie taking a large chunk of change at the moment. Not that anything bothers Wang:))

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IMHO this is as much about Chicago believing that Corey Crawford is their "goalie of the future" as anything else. Im surprised they wouldnt keep Neimi and bury Huet in the minors, but I suppose they have their reasons. Will be interesting to see how this all plays out - and also to see where (and how much) Neimi signs for elsewhere.

It makes what we got for our stanley cup hero goaltender look better if Chicago is ready to just walk away from theirs with no compensation at all.

My guess is they'll still be burying Huet in the minors. Heck, I'm sure you can find a sponsor to foot the bill of his salary having just won the Cup! :lol:

I agree with you Jed... Huet was well into his 30's before he was recognized as a #1, so was Roloson.

Very interesting, not sure Turco has it in him anymore to play 50+ games a season... But they sure got him for a good price. To think, we could've signed Turco at probably the same price and he would've been a great mentor for Price. I'm still a lil bitter about them going with Auld... It worked well with Hackett and Moog, veterans at the end of their careers mentoring our young goalies (Thibo and Theo).

Agreed, Turco would have been far preferable to Auld. Maybe he wanted a place where he knows he'd be getting a fair load of games (and he now has that), that's my only guess.

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I think there is a very real possibility that Niemi is out of the NHL this year. It's not that nobody wants him, it's that the arbitration was so late that everyone has paid their goalies for the year. If anyone picks him up, I would imagine it would be the Islanders. Unfortunately for them, they have an invisible goalie taking a large chunk of change at the moment. Not that anything bothers Wang:))

That and the fact that people sometimes forget that unlike forwards (500+ in the nhl) there really are only enough jobs for about 60-70 goalies. The winner of the Stanley cup is going to expect to be a starter, so that breaks the number down to 30...are there any teams out there looking for a starter? 1? 2? Can they afford Neimi?

Lots of questions & certainly narrowing down his value.

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Agreed, Turco would have been far preferable to Auld. Maybe he wanted a place where he knows he'd be getting a fair load of games (and he now has that), that's my only guess.

I would also think that at the beginning of free agency we wouldnt have gotten turco for that cheap. I believe it was pretty much coming down to the point where he needed a job, and he had better take what he can get.

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Very interesting, not sure Turco has it in him anymore to play 50+ games a season... But they sure got him for a good price. To think, we could've signed Turco at probably the same price and he would've been a great mentor for Price. I'm still a lil bitter about them going with Auld... It worked well with Hackett and Moog, veterans at the end of their careers mentoring our young goalies (Thibo and Theo).

Two things worked against us getting Turco, though.

#1: He gets to be the starter in Chicago (over Crawford, who I can't imagine will see that many games).

#2: They just won the cup. Turco said in his interview that he turned down longer deals worth more money because he wanted to play with a winning team. Maybe Montreal would have been on his list too, who knows, but we might not have been able to get him for the same price.

Having said that, though, I agree that it would have been an ideal situation had we been able to sign him.

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