The Dallas Stars have made a draft day trade, acquiring the rights to goaltender Antti Niemi from the San Jose Sharks. In return the Sharks get a 7th round pick in this year’s draft.
Dallas may have spoken to Niemi during the six-day window where free agents can discuss deals with teams, as Pierre LeBrun is reporting that Dallas is already working on the contract.
It’s an interesting move for Dallas, who has a starting goaltender in Kari Lehtonen. The team would be committing a lot of cap space to having two older starting goaltenders on the roster. With a pretty mediocre free agent market for goaltenders (though it appears that everyone is available via trade) it would be strange for Niemi, who will be 32 at the start of the season, to take a back-up role when he’s arguably the second best goaltender available on the free agent market.
Am told the Stars are already working on a contract for Antti Niemi although not done yet…
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 27, 2015
Niemi will become a free agent on July 1 if a deal cannot be reached with the Stars.
This also leaves the Sharks in a position where they’ll be looking to acquire a goaltender — though it was expected that they wouldn’t re-sign Niemi — even though they gave Troy Grosenick a contract extension that involves him getting a one-way deal in the second year of the two-year deal.
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Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.