The Dallas Stars were out to solve the goaltending issues on Monday, placing Antti Niemi on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout, as they were likely unable to facilitate a trade for Niemi to move him out of town for something in return.
Niemi had one year remaining on his current deal at $4.5 million, but with the acquisition of Ben Bishop in the off-season, he became the third goalie on the depth chart and at that kind of cap hit, it wasn't going to last, clearly.
As per CapFriendly, Niemi's buyout will last for the next two seasons on the salary cap, at a hit of $1.5 million per season, which isn't too bad, considering what he'd be worth in the minors, assuming he'd make it down there.
The 33-year old Finn will now be an unrestricted free agent, who posted 12 wins and 24 points in 37 appearances for the Stars, but I wouldn't hold Niemi completely accountable for his poor numbers, as the Stars had no defense in front of him and I think he would be a very cost-efficient keeper on most teams with a reasonable defense corps. I would pay close attention to where he lands, as he is a pool worthy goalie.