The veteran goalie was 21-18-5 last season with a .909 save percentage and 2.87 GAA with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009-10. Niittymaki is 83-79-28 with a 2.98 GAA and .903 save percentage in 210 career games.
The move comes on the heels of the Sharks' decision not to offer Evgeni Nabokov a new contract with the team. Nabokov won 293 regular-season games during his 10 seasons in San Jose, but shouldered much of the load for the team's postseason failures.
It's cool when you think about how many great American players have played the game and the two players that were at that 18-game point streak and what they've done in their careers. It's pretty cool right now, but it was kind of overshadowed by the loss.
— Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after breaking the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Kings