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Posts Tagged ‘Brent Sopel.’

Blackhawks show Niemi the door; usher in Turco as number one goalie

Marty Turco now a Blackhawk (nhl)

Marty Turco was not offered a new contract by the cost-cutting Dallas Stars a few weeks ago.

But now, that’s all a memory as he will now be playing for the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

Turco replaces Stanley Cup hero Antii Niemi as the Blackhawks’ top goaltender. He could’ve got a longer contract with more money with another team, but he wants a championship ring. Turco’s deal is one-year for $1.3 million.

The Blackhawks have high expectations from the 34-year-old Turco, a Michigan product, who has played all nine of his NHL seasons with Dallas. The three-time All-Star has never advanced past the conference finals in six playoff appearances with the Stars.

Niemi, 26, helped Chicago 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, which would’ve put the team in a tight spot. The NHL’s salary cap is $59.4 million next season and some hockey experts said that with Niemi’s new salary, it would’ve put the Blackhawks over the limit.

Niemi becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Finn played all but one period of Chicago’s postseason run to the NHL title, going 16-6 with a 2.63 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and two shutouts.

Niemi will make the eighth player to leave the Blackhawks since the winning the Stanley Cup. The others include Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager, Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Adam Burish, Colin Fraser and Kris Versteeg. 37-year-old John Madden, another unrestricted free agent, has yet to sign with a team.

compiled from Chicago Blackhawks and NHL news