Jokerit Helsinki of the KHL have signed free agent goaltender Antti Niemi to a one-year contract. The team also announced that they have re-signed Sami Lepisto to a one-year deal with an additional option year.
#Jokerit is delighted to announce that the club has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with goalie Antti Niemi and a one-year contract extension with @SamiLepisto with the option to extend for another year. #KHL pic.twitter.com/OqWEPWHFeE
— Jokerit Helsinki (@Jokerit_EN) June 5, 2019
Antti Niemi Signs With Jokerit Helsinki
Jokerit pick-up a veteran goaltender who will be looking to forget last season. Over his 11-year NHL career, Niemi has been all around the league spending time with the San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, and Montreal Canadiens. He has put up a 242-140-57 career record in 464 career appearances with 443 career NHL starts. He also has a 2.57 goals-against-average, .912 save percentage, and 36 shutouts. Niemi has a career 36-29 record in 67 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, with a 2.77 goals-against-average, .905 save percentage, and two shutouts.
Last season, Niemi played in 17 games, all starts, for the Canadiens. He put up a 8-6-2 record with a 3.78 goals-against-average and .887 save percentage. His best season was during the 2009-10 season when he led the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup. That Year Niemi put up a 26-7-4 record with a 2.25 goals-against-average, .912 save percentage and seven shutouts.
With the move, Niemi returns to his home country of Finland.
What This Means for the Future
Niemi will look to bounce back after coming off the worst season of his career with the Canadiens. He was unlikely to get another NHL job after a rough season in Montreal. Neimi is 35 years old and has already played 11 seasons. He’s given up at least three goals on average over the past three seasons.
Main Photo: SUNRISE, FL – DECEMBER 28: Goaltender Antti Niemi #37 of the Montreal Canadiens warms up prior to the game against the Florida