Chicago Blackhawks' loss of Antti Niemi could be San Jose Sharks' gain
Think they’ve about run out of cardboard boxes and packaging tape in the Chicago Blackhawks’ dressing room? In the nine weeks since they hoisted the Stanley Cup, eight players have packed up and moved on as part of the team’s salary-cap-induced bloodletting.
Sharks-killing forward Dustin Byfuglien: Gone. Twenty-goal scorer Kris Versteeg: Gone. Energetic forechecker Colin Fraser: Gone.
And as of Monday, Stanley Cup-winning goalie Antti Niemi: As gone as the tie game.
To which the Sharks and their fans (OK, mostly their fans) reply: “Heh, heh, heh.” Before we get too deep into this exercise in what-iffery, understand that the Sharks themselves have yet to chime in on Niemi’s divorce from the Blackhawks. Though it should be noted that general manager Doug Wilson was said to be unavailable Tuesday, given that he was flying, um, somewhere.
To Chicago, perhaps, to intercept Niemi on his way out of town? To Niemi’s native Finland, as an expression of sincere interest? To Ontario, Canada, for the Wolfe Island Music Fest?
Probably none of the above. Thus, the views expressed here are based solely on the noise inside our own heads. But what an intriguing noise.