The Pittsburgh Penguins seem to have found their backup goaltender as they’ve signed Antti Niemi from the Dallas Stars to a one year deal. Niemi was in Dallas for the past couple seasons in a 1A/1B tandem with Kari Lehtonen but will now take on the role of being a backup to Matt Murray. The deal is for one year at $700,000.
Antti Niemi gets $700,000, one-year deal from #pens.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2017
Antti Niemi Signs With Pittsburgh Penguins
After Marc-Andre Fleury was drafted by the Las Vegas Golden Knights, Jim Rutherford let it be known that the Penguins need a backup goaltender. They wanted Tristan Jarry to spend one more season with Wilkes-Barre Scranton which is the Penguins AHL team across the state. A lot of the other options for backup goaltender were taken and the Penguins settled with Niemi.
Niemi has had his struggles with his time in Dallas as he was rotating in and out of playing. His save percentage last season didn’t even get to .900 as it was .892. The season before it wasn’t much better as it was only .905. He started 30 games last season for the Stars and 43 the season before and it’s likely that he won’t have to start anywhere near that amount in Pittsburgh. Matt Murray does get injured sometimes but if he’s available for the entire season, he will likely only have to appear in 20-25 games. The deal is a little bit higher then the league minimum and this is a good signing for the Penguins as they have a reliable cheap backup goaltender behind Murray. Jarry will likely be ready for the backup role after this season.
Main Photo: DALLAS, TX – MARCH 08: Dallas Stars Goalie Antti Niemi (31) peers up at the scoreboard during the NHL hockey game between the Ottawa Senators and Dallas Stars on March 8, 2017 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. Ottawa defeats Dallas 5-2. (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)