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San Jose Sharks

Antti Niemi Will Defend The San Jose Sharks Until 2015

San Jose SharksWooooo hooooo! Okay first let me be honest, when Antti Niemi first started playing for the San Jose Sharks I was very disappointed. Not all of it was his fault - part of my opinion was formed over what happened to him during the summer. His dispute with the Chicago Blackhawks, and his eventual arbitration hearing, made me wonder what kind of personality we were dealing with. Was Niemi making big ego-type demands because he had just won the Stanley Cup, or was Chicago being cheap because they had severe cap problems? And when you did a post mortem on the Sharks horrible start of the season you saw Antero Niittymaki shining between the pipes while Niemi showing no signs as to how he managed to win that cup.

But then Dan Rusinowski saved the day. Sometime around November or December Rusinowski, the San Jose Sharks radio ‘color’ personality, said that Niemi was by far the hardest worker during practice. When I heard that I decided to just sit before I started ranting.

Two months later it looks like all that hard work in practice is paying off. And today the Sharks proved once again why they’re the best run sports franchise in the San Francisco Bay Area and one of the best managed teams in the NHL. The Sharks signed Niemi to a 4-year, $15.2 million dollar contract. I don’t know about you but I feel like we’re getting a much better goalie at $3.8 million a year than we had with Nabokov at $6+ million per year. So ‘Wooooooo hoooooo!’

Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson has never been shy about saying he’s trying to build a franchise that wins multiple championships. Over the last few years I started to wonder if we blew our window and, with aging stars like Thronton and Marleau, just how we planned to sustain things going forward. The signing of Joe Pavelski, the rise of Logan Couture and the contract to Niemi give insight on what that future will look like. And if you’re wondering what the future holds for the Sharks this season, there’s an interesting article over at The Bleacher Report on why it’s possible, just possible, that this is the year the San Jose Sharks win the Stanley Cup.

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