Blackhawks Sign Marty Turco; Say Goodbye to Niemi
Antti Niemi, the 2010 Blackhawks' Stanley Cup-winning goalie was officially released this morning following Saturday's arbitration award announcement of $2.75 million. The Hawks had 48 hours whether to accept the judgment, trade him or let him become an unrestricted free agent. He now is an unrestricted free agent. After parting ways with Niemi, the Blackhawks signed veteran goaltender Marty Turco, formerly of the Dallas Stars. Turco signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract and will remain a free agent after the year with the Hawks runs out.
StatsIn Marty Turco's nine seasons with the Stars, he had a 262-154-26 record. In this past season, he went 22-20-11 with a 2.7 goals-against average and .913 save percentage and four shutouts. Antti Niemi went 26-7-4 with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage, then was 16-6 with a 2.63 GAA and .912 save percentage while leading the Hawks to their first Stanley Cup in 49 years. Turco reportedly turned down a $2 million contract from Philadelphia earlier this summer. His agent told the Chicago Tribune that they wanted to place Turco in a "club where he had a chance to play a role to win the Stanley Cup." Apparently, they didn't think the runners-up for the Cup were the right fit considering that he took less to play for the Hawks.
But will Turco be the No. 1 goalie for the Hawks?At last weekend's Chicago Blackhawks Convention, General Manager Stan Bowman gave mention to allowing Corey Crawford a chance at tending the net. Crawford has been in the AHL for four years and has played in eight games for the Hawks since he was drafted in the second round in 2003. Either way, Niemi is now an unrestricted free agent and no longer apart of the Chicago Blackhawks. He'll still have his day(s) with the Cup August 10-11.
Photo Source: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh