Niemi No More; Turco A Hawk

The Hawks parted ways with Antti Niemi on Monday morning with the expected announcement of Marty Turco’s signing.  After Niemi was awarded $2.75 million through an arbitrator, the Hawks decided they would be better served saving money at the goaltending position in order to fill out the rest of their roster. 

So Turco is a Hawk.  While we await the terms of his one-year deal, it’s rumored that his deal is between $1 and $1.5 million.

Also, tonight we (me, for sure) will be joining Chris Block on Third Man In Radio.  The show is live so you can call or email with any questions or comments.  See you all there.

UPDATE:  TSN is reporting the Turco deal to be one year, $1.3 million.  So essentially the Hawks traded Niemi for Turco and a winger to be named later.  With the extra $1.45 in cap space, the Hawks can either sign one of the seemingly hundreds of unrestricted wingers still looking for a job or promote from within, i.e. Kyle Beach. 

Unless the Hawks use the excess cap space in a poor fashion, the only problem with this deal is the public relations backlash it will cause.

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29 Responses to Niemi No More; Turco A Hawk

  1. Jerry Kayne says:

    I’m happy. That was my 1st choice. Maybe there’s room for Theodore as a backup? Either way, Turco will be a great mentor for the next rookie coming up, be it Crawford or Toivenen.

  2. Big Tony says:

    I’ll always love Niemi for those 16 wins he brought us, but he priced himself off the team by not accepting the 3/8M deal he was offered. If he truly wanted to stay here and play behind that great defense, the offer should have been sufficient for him. More power to him if he thinks he’s gonna get his 4M per year.

    Turco will be just fine in net for us. His numbers were very similar to Niemi’s and he’s certainly a professional. I like the move.

  3. Otter says:

    This was the second easiest decision of the off-season after letting Burish walk. No issues here. Niemi will probably go down as one of the five “worst” goalies to win the Cup.

  4. Lou says:

    But he still won the cup and some great one’s didn’t so we have to tip our hat to that.

    What do they do with the savings? Does that now put our friend BKyle in the mix? Does it allow us to pursue another FA like Asham or Sutton?

    What are we going to do with the $?

    Lee, we alread have Scott so no Laraque.

  5. Big Tony says:

    They can keep the cap space in reserve for a trade during the season. This was a no-brainer.

    Facebook is gonna explode with the retards being up in arms today.

  6. Patrick says:

    So, this was a straight refusal – no sign and trade?

  7. Otter says:

    Patrick, who wants Niemi for $2.7 million (well other than the Islanders). It’s not Huet for $5m, but it’s not a great deal either.

    But let’s get to the real story: HERE COMES KOVALCHUK!

  8. Lou says:

    Otter, that’s what I heard – 50 year deal at $135 MM backloaded

  9. Dave Morris says:


    Marty can’t wait to get started. And his save percentage last year was as good as Antti’s.

  10. feyer says:

    Interesting that there was no trade available for Niemi at 2.75. So is there interest in him as a UFA? As I recall, if a team offers him 80% or less of that number, the hawks have a chance to match.

  11. AC says:

    Lou, Laraque is too busy in politics nowadays anyways, he was just named deputy leader of the Green Party in Canada, believe it or not.

    Anyways, this move kinda sucks, but is probably the best move to make. I would’ve loved to keep Niemi, but not at the cost of Sharp. It definitely was the smart move, but I will miss Niemi (but not his ridicously long rebounds) for what he achieved with this team. Turco should be fine, but I don’t know that he’s any better than Niemi.

    Again, don’t get me wrong, this was the right move, but just not the one that makes me happy inside.

  12. John says:

    No one’s going to give up something when all he would cost a team is more money. Why give up a draft pick or two to save a million bucks…

  13. steve says:

    Totally o.k. with this move, I have always been a Turco fan, and with the hawks having some good prospects this should give us a chance to keep things rollin.

  14. Patrick says:

    John and Otter – I was thinking that some team out there may want to lock him up at the $2.75 rather than have to bid for him on the market (hence the trade route). Oh well. I like the move.

  15. Wade says:

    I have 2 questions:

    1. Where does Niemi end up? (I hope not in San Jose …)

    2. What number does Turco wear? (Tony Espisito’s #35 is retired, obviously.)

  16. Wade says:

    I have two questions:

    1. Where will Niemi sign? (Hopefully not with San Jose, LA, or another Western Conference contender.)

    2. What number will Turco wear? (Since Tony Esposito’s #35 is retied.)

  17. Otter says:

    If Niemi ends up somewhere that does not have a very good blue line, they’re going to be disappointed. I hate to crap on the guy, but he’s being overvalued because he won a Cup. He played some nice games, and made some big saves, but that’s not rare for NHL goalies.

    A lot of Niemi’s success was that Hawks blue line making sure teams didn’t get second chances. I always thought the second most glaring difference between the Hawks and most every other NHL team, was that teams never seemed to get a second chance. In the Flyers series, the Hawks made sure that puck was cleared or that no one in orange was going to get a second chance.

    I have to wonder how “good” Niemi is going to be without Keith, Seabrook, and HamSand.

  18. Wade says:

    Sorry for the double post earlier … I didn’t think the first one went through.

    My bad.

  19. CT says:

    The main value in Niemi over Turco is that Niemi could potentially get better, while at 35 Turco’s skills won’t be improving any. Essentially the real gamble here is that the Hawks are betting that Corey Crawford is going to develop into a starting goaltender. I think he’ll see more time than the average backup goalie (much like Niemi did last year) to see if he can hack it in the NHL. Ideally, he does, and when Turco leaves with his Stanley Cup ring after 2011, Crawford can take over in net. Otherwise, it’s back to the free agent market for a goalie (again).

  20. dominator says:

    Well Crawford or Hannu Hannu

  21. Ban says:

    Crawford or Toivonen? Crawford, easy. Stanbow was saying how it was Crawford’s time to come in and the main reason he didn’t make the team last year was because of his contract. Niemi and Crawford were fairly even in terms of play. Unless he REALLY stinks it up in training camp, it’ll be Crawford.

  22. Marts says:

    Turco/Crawford to start the season… I’d bet the mortgage on it and I think the prospect of having a highly motivated (essentially contract year) player is a massive benefit for the goalie position and the team.

    Another thing worth mentioning is that players (as a whole) understand the game, chemistry, true talent, systems etc. far more than any media type ever could. The fact that Turco wanted a Stanley Cup contender, and chose the Hawks, shows you the regard this team holds across the league. I’m sure nobody on this forum doubted that but its a nice feather in our cap to shove in the face of all the doomsday profits.

    This team will be good and I’d be stunned if Stalberg doesn’t hit 20 goals. Only way he doesn’t hit that plateau (or get very close) is if he’s one of these all-the-tools-but-no-tool-box kind of players. I’m guessing that’s not the case seeing that he got 9 in 40 with the Make Beliefs in (mostly) limited action.

  23. Will says:

    I don’t understand why people are so upset; we were up against the cap. Our young players got to good too fast and everyone wanted to get paid once we WON the CUP.This is the new NHL, great teams are going to lose players. You have to lock up your core and you have restock the 3rd a 4th lines. Yes we love depth, but who’s not to say that Stelberg can’t be better than steeger with more speed and a more physical all around game (I think he will). The deal for Turco allows for the Hawks to bring up Beach, which will give us another big power forward who can play in front of the net & has scored everywhere he’s played. Plus, the 4th line of Bickell, Dowell & Skille will be just as physical as eags, burish, and fraser but they have more offensive talent! Turco is a proven NHL goalie and had a .913 save pctg; slightly better than Niemi and was a on a horrible team with no D. Can you imagine his numbers on the Hawks with the best D in the NHL and allowing only 24 shots per game? Nothing to worry about. We have our top 5 D locked in and solid scorers on our top 3 lines with a grinder line on the 4th. Mark my words, we’re going to be fine and with the mentoring from the holdovers the kids will be fine. Hawks will make another run!!

  24. Big Tony says:

    Will, the only ones upset are the bandwagon idiots who think they know the game enough to criticize a championship-level organization. These are the same morons who screamed bloody murder when Stan raped Atlanta in the Buff/Sopel trade and refused to look at the big picture. The same ones who refuse to learn what a core is or what the salary cap forces teams to do.

    There’s an old Italian saying about crying about having no meat with two loaves of bread under your arms…..that’s what these clowns are doing.

  25. Lou says:

    Big Tony this year at the games we pick out band wagon fands and see if they can take the heat in my section. I am sure your in

  26. RGS says:

    I’ve been trying to follow this cap situation as best I can but….As of today, is Huet’s salary still a cap hit? If so, how much of the cap will open up when he goes to Rockford or Europe? Thanks.

  27. Otter says:

    In retrospect, should the Hawks have followed the Habs lead with Halak and unload Niemi before we even got to arbitration? Habs at least have something to show for Halak… Hawks got nothing for Niemi…

  28. Lou says:

    Otter, we got tons for everyone else so ultimately, this was bound to happen at least once.

    So far those five teams after Niemi have done what?????

  29. Mark says:


    I agree with Lou this was probably bound to happen at some point and really Bowman got a good return on his deals considering how up against the wall he was.

    The other part is they really would have liked to keep Niemi and tried to. They worked for a while before the hearing to try and iron something out. Even when it went to arbitration they probably hoped for a favorable ruling.

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