On Tuesday, the Blackhawks did some minor tidying up around their house, signing forward Jake Dowell to a new 2-year deal and goalie Antti Niemi to a 1-year deal. There were no financial details disclosed for these two players. Last season, Dowell had a cap hit of $687,000 and Niemi was a cap hit of $1.5 million. Look for about the same numbers for both of these players.
Dowell in 2009 had no points in only one game played. Niemi had 141 minutes of work, picking up a win in the process.
Niemi does have a shot at being the back-up to Cristobel Huet this coming season, especially if Nikolai Khabibulin leaves due to free agency in the next day or so. If this is the case, then Niemi does have a good shot at being a small fantasy player with big number potential. He does come with quite a bit of hype and should Khabibulin decide to leave, Niemi will get to work in the big league environment full-time. Keep an eye on this situation.