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Blackhawks' Niemi gets $2.75M in arbitration @NHL

CHICAGO (AP) -Goalie Antti Niemi has been awarded a $2.75 million salary for next season after helping the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in June.

The arbitrator's decision could force the Blackhawks to make some tough decisions in order to stay under the NHL's $59.4 million salary cap.

Niemi earned $826,875 last season as a rookie. He played all but one period of the Blackhawks' postseason run to the championship, going 16-6 with a 2.63 goals-against average, .910 save percentage and two shutouts.

After the sides were unable to reach contract terms for the 26-year-old netminder, the case advanced to an arbitration hearing Thursday in Toronto.

The NHL Players Association confirmed the arbitrator's ruling on Saturday.

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