A few days ago, I asked PHT readers to assess the value of restricted free agent (and Stanley Cup winning goalie) Antti Niemi. The Chicago Blackhawks salary cap situation is obviously one of the stories of the summer and Niemi’s RFA status could force the team to make some tough decisions.
As you can see from the pie chart below, opinions were generally pretty scattered on his exact value. (Click the image to enlarge the results.)
While “$2.5 million” was the most popular choice (and on some level, seems like the average even if it’s not the consensus), the general range seemed to be “$2 million or less” to as much as $3.5 million. I’d also say that the lower end of the range and highest end of the range might be a bit off; so maybe we can guess that Niemi might be worth between $2.5 and $3 million.
I’ve noticed lately that the general salary for “franchise” goalies is $5 million. Some get more and others receive less, but that seems like the typical number. Niemi’s only been a full-time netminder for one year (and even then, he shared starts with Cristobal Huet) so it’s understandable that he might not receive the same kind of money. Obviously, being a restricted free agent will also hurt is earning power.
I guess the question might still be: is Niemi worth it? Even at a reasonable $2.5 million, can Chicago afford him? We’ll have to wait and find out.