Blackhawks Part Ways with Niemi, sign Turco

| by Off The Record

The Chicago Blackhawks won a Stanley Cup with Antti Niemi as their goalie. Great, right? Re-sign him, right? Not really. First of all, he’s not that good and they won in spite of him rather than because of him (thank you to the Philadelphia Flyers for having Michael Leighton in their net).

Second of all, the Hawks have salary cap problems. They’ve already traded half of the team away. So, when Niemi won a one-year, $2.75 million contract via arbitration, the Blackhawks had to walk away.

Not that good + Costs too much money = Sign Marty Turco.

And that’s just what Chicago did. They announced today that they have added Turco on a one-year, $1.3 million deal. He’ll be 35-years old in two weeks and had a 2.72 GAA last year with the Dallas Stars.

“Marty is the perfect veteran addition to our tremendous core that is already in place as we look to begin our defence of the Stanley Cup,” said Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman in a statement. “He is joining us with the intention of adding a Stanley Cup to his lengthy list of accomplishments over the last decade and we are looking forward to his immediate contributions.”

Turco spent his entire 10-year career with the Dallas Stars.

“Joining the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks is an unbelievable opportunity for me both professionally and personally,” said Turco in a release. “The Blackhawks are a first-class organization in a world-class city and at this point in my career I am excited to be a part of a team that will give me such a good chance to win the Stanley Cup.”

Regrets to all those who tried to name the new Chicago Blackhawks drink at the John Hancock Observatory after something that rhymed with “Niemi.”

Maybe Cristobal Huet will get it together?