Bay Area

Sharks deal rights to Antti Niemi

On the second day of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the San Jose Sharks dealt the rights to number one goaltender Antti Niemi to the Dallas Stars for a seventh-round selection. Niemi, who will be an unrestricted free agent next month, had been the Sharks’ mainstay in net for the past five seasons, and his departure leaves the Sharks short of a proven veteran net minder.

“There are several goalies still out there that are potentially available,” said Sharks general manager Doug Wilson, as quoted by Curtis Pashelka for the Bay Area News Group. “We’ll address the goaltending situation. I have no concerns about that.”

“We like Alex Stalock and Troy Grosenick, and I think I’ve been very open about saying that we want to add some more goaltenders to this organization. You’ll see us doing that as the summer progresses.”

Stalock was impressive two seasons ago as a rookie, but his performance tailed off during an injury-plagued season a year ago, where he went 8-9-2, with a 2.62 goals against average and a .902 save percentage. Grosenick pitched a shutout in his first NHL appearance last season, only to come back down to earth lose his only other start.

With the Minnesota Wild re-signing goaltender Devan Dubnyk to a long-term contract, the free agent pool of available goaltenders looks pretty lean, with the most attractive option arguably Niemi himself (who is rumored to being close to signing a contract with the Stars). However, in addition to having more than $16 million in salary cap space available for next season, Wilson and the Sharks also have a stockpile of 15 picks in the next two NHL Entry Drafts to tempt as trade bait.

Photo Credit:  David Zalubowski/AP Photo

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Ray Hartjen

A Public Relations pro by day, by night @RayHartjen follows parallel - yet somehow still often conflicting - paths searching for hair metal guitar legend status, a career as a journeyman 4th line center in the NHL, and the treasured laminates to be a hanger-on in the circus that is Formula 1.
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