Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Niemi Claimed by the Panthers
There were a few teams that you could provide a decent argument for, in placing a waiver claim on goaltender Antti Niemi and indeed, a team did claim him in the end, as the Florida Panthers threw their hook into the water and snagged him.
The claim would suggest that the injury to Roberto Luongo is far more serious than once thought, as they are not comfortable with running with Reto Berra in the backup spot behind James Reimer, because it could be long enough that Berra would have to start a game or two and the Panthers would prefer more experience on the bench.
Niemi's numbers have been pretty poor in Pittsburgh, but he does have a Stanley Cup ring and plenty of experience, which has to be the big selling point here. The 34-year old has made three appearances for the Penguins and he does have an assist on his record for 1 point in the pool.
The real gains here are for Reimer, if the injury concerns are real, as he'll get the bulk of the work, and that's a serious gain for Troy's team, which opens Tuesday night in 13th place and the very early leader for the Mover & Shaker nod this week. It will remain as the status quo for Niemi and Derek B., as this should amount to any more work than he would have had in Pittsburgh, although he has been saved from absolutely no NHL work, which could be a gain in itself. And if indeed, the injury woes are real, Stuart and his 14th place team takes another good kicking, besides already having Luongo on the shelf for a week, as it is now likely more significant.