Pricey Platoon? Stars reportedly sign Niemi for three years, $13.5M

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The Dallas Stars aren’t kidding about improving their goaltending situation, or at least throwing a ton of money at the problem.

GM Jim Nill handed Antti Niemi a three-year, $13.5 million contract on Monday, according to reporters including HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman. The CBC’s Tim Wharnsby adds that Niemi was handed a limited no-trade clause, as well.

Upon first impact, one would think that expensive Stars (former?) franchise goalie Kari Lehtonen might be out. After all, when you combine Lehtonen’s $5.9 million cap hit and Niemi’s reported $4.5 million mark, that’s a whopping $10.4 million in space devoted solely to goalies.

Publicly speaking, Nill insists that there will be a platoon situation in Dallas, so perhaps we’ll see a two-headed Finn monster? The Stars didn’t officially confirm the terms of the deal, but they released a statement on the signing.

“We acquired Antti’s rights with the expectation to get him signed and we’re thrilled to have come to an agreement this quickly,” Nill said. “This gives us two upper-echelon goaltenders and the quality of depth at that position will provide us a great chance to win on a nightly basis.”

If this sticks, it makes for an odd structure in Dallas. The Stars are enjoying crazy savings with Jamie Benn ($5.25 million cap hit) and Tyler Seguin (just $5.75 million), yet they’re spending big on their goalies and Jason Spezza. At the same time, their shaky-on-paper defense is at least cheap, if nothing else.

Some, erm, cynics aren’t smiling upon the move(s):

Pretty odd, but it’s the beginning of the summer, so we’ll see where the Stars go with things. For better or worse, they’re not standing idly by.

Also, a note for San Jose Sharks fans: