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Niemi decision expected by Saturday

NHL.com @NHL

CHICAGO (AP) -Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman expects to learn on Saturday whether his salary cap-squeezed team will be able to keep restricted free agent goaltender Antti Niemi.

After Bowman and Niemi's agent, Bill Zito, were unable to reach contract terms for the 26-year-old netminder, the case advanced to an arbitration hearing Thursday in Toronto.

Both Bowman and the NHL Players Association presented their cases and undisclosed one-year salary figures to an arbitrator, who has 48 hours to make a decision.

The arbitrator can choose either side's offer, or any amount between the two, per the NHL's collective bargaining agreement.

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