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Penguins Sign Goaltender Antti Niemi to a One-Year Contract

by Pittsburgh Penguins @Penguins / Media Release

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed goaltender Antti Niemi to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford. 

The deal has an average annual value of $700,000.

Niemi, 33, adds a veteran presence for the Penguins to pair in goal with Matt Murray. Like Murray, Niemi has been the starting netminder for a Stanley Cup champion, having won all 16 playoff games for the Chicago Blackhawks during their 2010 championship run.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Finnish product is a veteran of eight-plus NHL seasons, having spent the past two years with the Dallas Stars following successful runs between the pipes for Chicago and the San Jose Sharks before his stint in the Lonestar State. 

A native of Vantaa, Finland, the left-handed-catching Niemi has played in 423 career regular-season games, compiling an overall record of 227-125-51 to accompany his 2.49 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and 35 shutouts. Niemi has four 30-win seasons on his resume.

Since jumping to the NHL on a full-time basis with the Blackhawks in the 2009-10 campaign, Niemi has won 226 regular-season games, the fifth-highest total in the entire league during that span. His 420 games played and 404 starts during that same period rank seventh and eighth, respectively.

Niemi, who joined the Blackhawks organization as an undrafted free agent following a lengthy career in the Finnish League, has gone 36-29 in 67 career NHL playoff contests. One year after leading the Blackhawks to the 2010 Stanley Cup title, he backstopped the San Jose Sharks to a Western Conference Final appearance in his first year with that team. 

During his two years in Dallas, Niemi split goaltending duties with Kari Lehtonen. Two seasons ago, Niemi saw the majority of the action, winning 25 games in 43 starts as the Stars finished with the second-best record in the NHL, and the top record in the Western Conference.

Niemi was teammates with Olli Maatta on the 2014 Finnish Olympic Team that won a bronze medal at the Sochi Games.

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