One of the most interesting battles from San Jose’s training camp will be for the No. 2 netminding job behind Antti Niemi.
With Thomas Greiss gone (signed in Phoenix), the gig will go to either Alex Stalock (a veteran of three NHL contests) or Harri Sateri (a veteran of zero) — and, according to head coach Todd McLellan, Stalock’s edge in experience won’t matter much.
“To say that Alex has the inside edge on Harri would be unfair to both of them,” McLellan told CSN Bay Area. “We know where [Niemi] stands, and he looks good.
“[Niemi] can’t play 82 games, and it’s not a lockout season, so whoever wins that other job will get a chance to play and really establish themselves in the league.”
Stalock, 26, was sidelined for nearly a year after suffering a sliced nerve behind his knee in 2011. He battled back to rejoin AHL Worcester and made a brief appearance for the Sharks last season, appearing in two games.
Sateri, 23, was a Sharks draftee in 2008 that’s spent the last three seasons in Worcester, splitting time with Stalock. Prior to coming to North America he played with Tampere of Finland’s SM-liiga, appearing in a career-high 49 games during the 2009-10 campaign.
While the battle will be tight, whoever wins the job likely won’t be busy. Niemi has been one of the NHL’s biggest workhorses over the last two years, tying for the league lead in starts (43) last season and finishing fifth in 2011-12, with 68.