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Niittymaki Signs With San Jose

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks have signed unrestricted free agent goaltender Antero Niittymaki to a two-year contract.

Niittymaki, 30, just completed his sixth NHL season posting a 21-18-5 record, .909 save percentage and 2.87 goals against average with Tampa Bay. He went a season-high eight consecutive games without a regulation loss from Jan. 21 thru Feb. 9 including a shutout on Jan. 27 vs. Montreal.

Prior to his one season in Tampa Bay, he played in parts of five seasons with Philadelphia from 2003-2009. In 210 career games, Niittymaki has an 83-79-28 record with a 2.98 goals against average, .903 save percentage and five shutouts. He won a career high 23 games in 2005-06 with the Flyers and his .912 save percentage in 2008-09 with Philadelphia was his best for a full season.

Niittymaki has a decorated international hockey career representing Finland, highlighted by leading his native country to the Gold Medal game at the 2006 Olympics and being named the Most Valuable Player of the Olympics as well as the tournaments Best Goaltender. He also represented Finland at the 2010 Olympics, the 2006 World Championship and the 2000 World Junior Championship.

He spent three seasons at the American Hockey League level with the Philadelphia Phantoms appearing in 147 games and recording a 71-55-12 record from 2002-05. He led the Phantoms to a Calder Cup championship in 2004-05 and was awarded the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the MVP of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

The six-foot-one, 215-pound native of Turko, Finland was originally selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round (168th overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

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