Could Niemi end up in Columbus?

The Columbus Blue Jackets are ready to move on from Steve Mason. Could Antti Niemi be the answer?

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson said:

“We need a different look in goal. We need better play from that position. I told Steve in our exit interviews (earlier this month) that we’re going to have a different look at that position next year, but that right now, nobody can predict what form that’s going to take.”

Niemi, a former Stanley Cup winner in 2010 with Chicago, posted a 34-22-9 record, 2.42 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 68 games with the Sharks this season. They are respectable numbers, but Niemi had a tendency to let some bad goals down the stretch and in the playoffs.

A shot he should have stopped early in the Game 2 by Vladimir Sobotka, that Marc-Edouard Vlasic subsequently put into his own net after it trickled through Niemi, may have been the turning point in the five-game first round series loss to St. Louis.

5 Responses to Could Niemi end up in Columbus?

  1. frankinboltonleafs says:

    If I were Mason, I'd have been thinking, "we’re going to have a different look at that position next year" with respect to Howson. Mason could be next seasons Elliott or Anderson…hope the Leafs cash in on the train wreck that is Howson.

  2. albertateams says:

    Max Reinhart has been really impressive jumping to the AHL 3 goals and 1 assist in 3 games (2 of them in the playoffs). He has a very similar game to Mike Richards, excellent two way game with offensive up side. Probably projects as a solid 2nd line center in the NHL. He is turning into one of the biggest steals of the 2010 draft. 

  3. 93killer93 says:

    Calgary would be smart to draft his brother this year. They'll probably have to trade up to get him.  

  4. reinjosh says:

    Good to hear. I've been pretty excited about him. He might be ready to step up into the NHL next year, granted if the Flames can clear a spot for him at center. 

  5. albertateams says:

    He probably needs one full year in the AHL to build up some strength, but he will be in the Flames lineup either this year or next.

    What do you think of the addition of Roman Cervenka? I like the fact that it didn't cost any assets and that it is an entry level contract so the base is only 925k with performance bonuses that could make it 3.775 m. The question is does this mean Jokinen is gone or is he still resigned? Things are getting a little crowded in the forward spots:
    Sure to make the team (if not traded): Cammy, Iggy, Tanguay, Glenx, Baertschi, Backlund, Jones, Jackman
    On the bubble: Cervenka, Comeau, Horak, Aliu, Bouma, Stajan, Byron, Nemizs.
    16 forwards for 12 spots, without Jokinen or any UFA's (RFAs above assumed to be resigned). Maybe a draft day move for picks or some defensive depth?

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