What now? Does Chicago's signing of Marty Turco mean that Antti Niemi has joined Ilya Kovalchuck in hockey limbo? Or, does it mean that Christobel Huet will be part of the next shoe to drop in the Windy City? According to the news around the blogsphere and the MSM - it "appears" that's the exact words on tsn.com right now. According to info on NHL.com, the Blackhawks havemoved on from Niemi and he is now an unrestricted free agent, so I don't really understand the "apparently" qualifier on TSN.com but whatever - probably just an earlier article that needs an edit. As a fan though,you have to wonder, is it more heartbreaking if you are a fan: a) whose team has not won a Stanley Cup in 50 seasons, or b) to have to watch your team having to be blown up after winning their first Stanley Cup in 49 seasons because they have to manage their salary cap issues? Sorry about the run-on sentence, but up to this point I clearly would have said a), however if it's true that Chicago now finds they cannot sign Niemi after what seems like an arbitration award that's fair for both sides, you have to feel at least a little for Chicago fans no matter who "your" team is. We won't know the end decision or way forward by Chicago until their press conference in a short while but all I can say now is wow...
As for what other teams/GMs are likely to take a run at signing Niemmi for $2.75M+ next season, well I think the first one on the list could well be the team he beat in the finals for the Stanley Cup. Wouldn't it be ironic if after all this Niemi ends up in Flyers Black and Ornge playing for GM Paul Holmgren next season? Also if Chicago walks away the interesting part I think will be how long a contract term the team that signs the 26 year old Finn goes in for with him. Of course thats if the "wunderkind" GM down in Tampa Bay doesn't nab Niemi first... in which case I think then we Capitals fans might have to admit that there would be at least one team, other than the Capitals, who might win the division this coming season.
The good news for Hockey fans who got depressed thinking the only thing we'd have to talk about all summer was going to be "As Kovalchuck Turns" - is - that was a very wrong assmuption. Of course none of this helps us Capitals fans, at least those of us who think "our" team still needs bonafide, no kidding, second line center. A second line center, who, as much or more than a shut down blue liner, will propel "our team" aloing with the other high octane, hig talent players already on the roster to our team's first Stanley Cup victory in June 2011.
Is it Spetember yet?
LETS GO CAPS!!!