Chicago Sun-Times

Blackhawks await word on Niemi's award

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As the Blackhawks' annual three-day convention plays out, Antti Niemi's worth will be determined and announced.

The Hawks and Niemi's camp met Thursday morning in Toronto at his scheduled arbitration hearing. Both sides stated their cases and made their arguments.

"The arbitrator will make the ruling I believe some time Saturday," Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said Friday. "At that point, we have 48 hours in which to accept the award or walk away from the award, or trade the award. It will be one of those three scenarios, which will ultimately happen.

"It will depend on what the number is."

Niemi's camp is believed to be looking in the $3 million-plus range, while the Hawks most likely prefer to keep his salary around $2 million.

Niemi is certainly an interesting case. He went 16-6 in the postseason with two shutouts, a .910 save percentage and 2.63 goals-against average. He also stood out in the regular season, going 26-7-4 with seven shutouts, a .912 save percentage and 2.25 GAA.

But Niemi, who made $826,875 in 2009-10, only has played in 42 regular-season games in his career.

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Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times for more than four years, covering the Hawks, Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.

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This page contains a single entry by Adam L. Jahns published on July 29, 2010 7:32 PM.

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