Letting Antti Niemi walk was wise

The Blackhawks let a young goalie with a Cup go, but the logic was sound

Updated: August 2, 2010, 3:29 PM ET
By Alvin Chang | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesNiemi is gone from the Windy City, and logically, that makes sense.

Antti Niemi lost his job -- and it's because he was too good in the playoffs.

The 26-year-old goalie was awarded $2.75 million in arbitration -- too rich for the cash-strapped Chicago Blackhawks. So they let him walk.

The Hawks had every chance to keep Niemi, but they would've had to sacrifice other players -- most notably Niklas Hjalmarsson or Patrick Sharp. And given the traditional importance of goaltending, it seems wrong to pass on Niemi at a very reasonable $2.75 million.

However, a deeper look at the Hawks' situation shows that it was the right move.