Antti Niemi began last season with three NHL starts; he ended it with a Stanley Cup. A breakout year like that figures to earn you a sizeable salary bump from the $827,000 he made last season. But the way this offseason has played out, it's looking more and more as though Niemi's stellar second season actually cost him some money on his next contract. And he may have indirectly cost his crease-dwelling peers some coin as well.
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