September 1st, 2010, 7:46 pm
An unconventional offseason continues for the Sharks as rumors abound that Stanley Cup winning goalie, Antti Niemi, will form the Finnish Wonder Twins in San Jose with Antero Niittymaki.
WONDER FINNISH TWIN POWERS ACTIVATE! FORM OF A STANLEY CUP!
Friend of the podcast, EJ Hradek, wrote about this, said it again on the show last week – and we giggled and doubted it would be so – and while it’s not official official, it sure looks like Niemi is coming to town. You gotta love live prerecorded internet entertainment – just after Mike and I spent a half hour last night discussing how deep the Sharks goalie prospects are, Doug Wilson goes out and adds another netminder. Now, the deal is rumored to be one year/2M, which would not delay the real development of anyone we hold important to the Sharks future in net (Stalock, Sateri, Sexsmith) but the reality is that if Niemi does his job and raises the Cup in back to back seasons (that’s the goal here right?) – then is he really going to be let to walk out of Tombstone again? Doubtful DW would let him walk. How would you like to be Thomas Greiss today? You might see him bussing tables at Elephant Bar next week, or traded to the Oilers. Which job is better, by the way?
I’m conflicted. I’m surprised. I’m confused – but I’m going to try and step back and look at this logically.
Does Niemi make the Sharks better? Yes. Hell yes. He won a Stanley Cup last year and beat our buns – I want him on my team. He knows how to win, he’s an underdog who has excelled from being a non-prospect in Finland, to a non-factor afterthought signing in Chicago, to a guy deemed not worth keeping over 2nd line players like Patrick Sharp in Chicago – and you think this cat won’t be motivated? I like the player and I like having him in Teal.
If this is real and Niemi signs, the Sharks will have 1.1M left of cap space and Doug Wilson has not been able to effectively replace Rob Blake. We need DW to upgrade over Blake and instead we’ll be looking at a combination of Huskins or Wallin or Demers in his top four defensive minutes – barring any last minute preseason trade. This makes me conflicted, surprised and confused – and it makes the Wallin deal look extra bad with a side of wrong at the moment. No chance he gets that cash if the Sharks hadn’t given it to him and I’d say a 50% he’s still sitting on the open market right now with his brethren Jay McKee, Garnet Exelby and Paul Mara. If the Sharks win the Stanley Cup with this current collection of D – it will be the biggest surprise of all.
Here’s the toughest pill to swallow – but I’m giving it a go. We don’t like the current blueline – I think everyone would agree it’s not perfect – but the goal is to win games in March, April, May and June – not in October. Doug Wilson says this all the time and I’m gonna keep drinking the kool-aid. There’s spare parts on this team, he has draft picks he’s willing to part with and he’ll make a little more cap room by ditching Greiss to the minors – so we’re really looking at 1.67M of space to dance with. We know he’s willing to deal at the deadline and especially for D – so we might have to wait a few months – but DW has to add that #2 d-man and I still believe he will. If he doesn’t, was getting Niemi worth anything at all? You brought this guy here to win THIS YEAR because this is your window of opportunity and I think DW knows it.
Talk to you next week on the podcast – who knows what other shocking business we’ll have to cover. If anyone sees Thomas Greiss, give him a pat on the shoulder and a quarter.