Now that goaltender Jaroslav Halak has signed a new contract with the St. Louis Blues, can a deal between the Blackhawks and restricted free agent Antti Niemi be far behind?
Halak signed a four-year, $15 million contract with the Blues on Tuesday making his cap hit $3.75 million. Halak will earn $2.75 million next season than make $3.5 million the year after that followed by salaries of $4.25 million and $4.5 million.
Halak went 26-13-5 with a .924 save percentage this season and took the Montreal Canadiens to the Eastern Conference finals.
Niemi was 26-7-4 with a .912 save percentage and won the Stanley Cup.
The 25-year-old Halak just finished his second season in the NHL. Niemi, who turns 27 in August, completed his first.
Niemi, who filed for arbitration on Monday, no doubt is looking to better Halak’s contract. Winning the Cup puts Niemi in the driver’s seat in negotiations with the Hawks, who might have to give their No. 1 goalie in the neighborhood of $4 million a year.