It's the best time of year!
The Chicago Blackhawks have announced the signing of veteran goaltender Marty Turco this morning; the contract is reportedly worth between $1.0-1.5 million for one year. This coincides with Chicago officially walking away from Antti Niemi's arbitration award of $2.75 million; his possibility seemingly grew more and more likely as the weekend went on.
Turco will be a nice, steady presence to the Blackhawks' crease… but for how many games? He compiled a 2.72 GAA last year in 53 games with Dallas. In 2008/09, he had a shoddy .898 save percentage, along with a 2.81 GAA. Turco will be 35 when October rolls around, and may not be suited to play over 60 games. Expected backup Corey Crawford will have to step up and be more-than-serviceable for at least 20 games this season.
Where does this leave Niemi? We looked at some possible destinations on Saturday. Since Chicago walked away, Niemi has immediately become a free agent. I'm surprised that they weren't able to find a team to make a trade.
With Turco as their starting netminder, Chicago will still be a playoff team. In fact, it's likely that we'll see Turco post better numbers than he did down in Dallas the last couple years; how can you not with this good of a team in front of you?
In the end, though, I’m skeptical of the decision to part ways with Niemi in favor of an aging goaltender (albeit, for less money). But with the current salary cap situation, ‘Hawks GM Stan Bowman had no choice.
Photo credit: Getty Images
at 9:55 AM
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