We are somewhere in the middle of the 48-hour window that the Blackhawks have before a decision needs to be made regarding Antti Niemi and the one-year, $2.75 million contract he was awarded in arbitration. The number is a little higher than expected, but it’s do-able. Once again, the Blackhawks can accept the deal, move him via trade or walk away from it making him an unrestricted free agent. Expect Bowman and company to take their time before announcing their decision whether to keep or move the 26-year-old netminder.
If the Blackhawks opt to keep Niemi, they might have to move yet another body to field a roster of 20 to 21 players. However, there have been rumors that Marty Turco has a tentative deal in place at a cheaper price tag. With Turco in net, the organization would have more wiggle room with the roster.