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Stars acquire rights to goalie Niemi from Sharks

NHL.com @NHL

The Dallas Stars acquired the rights to pending unrestricted free-agent goaltender Antti Niemi from the San Jose Sharks on Saturday in a trade for the No. 193 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Niemi, 31, was 31-23-7 with a .914 save percentage and 2.59 goals against average in 2014-15 for the Sharks. If the Stars do not sign Niemi, he will become a UFA on July 1. He cost $3.8 million against the salary cap last season and made $4 million in salary, according to War-on-ice.com.

"Antti is a proven goaltender who has played and succeeded at the highest levels," Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a statement. "He's one of the hardest-working goalies out there, and we look forward to working towards an agreement."

Niemi spent five seasons with the Sharks after helping the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010. He appeared in at least 60 games in his four full seasons with San Jose and played 43 games in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

The Sharks' depth chart at goaltender has Alex Stalock and Troy Grosenick in the top two spots, but they reportedly have interest in adding a player at the position. Stalock and Grosenick have combined for 39 NHL starts.

Since joining the Sharks, Niemi is second among NHL goaltenders with 296 games played, behind Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens. Third on that list is Kari Lehtonen, who has been the No. 1 goalie for the Stars since 2010-11.

Lehtonen had his worst season in 2014-15 since he was a rookie in 2005-06. He finished with a .903 save percentage and a 2.94 GAA.

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