Reuters - Tue, 06 Jul 18:47:00 2010
Antti Niemi, the goaltender for the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks, was among a list of 31 NHL players who are opting for salary arbitration, the National Hockey League Players' Association said.
The 26-year-old Finnish goalie, who helped Chicago snap a 49-year championship drought in June, went 26-7-4 during the regular season with a 2.25 goals against average.
He signed as a free agent with Chicago in May 2008.
The Atlanta Thrashers, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and Washington Capitals each have three players electing to seek salary arbitration, Monday's NHLPA statement said.
Boston forward Blake Wheeler, Philadelphia forward Daniel Carcillo and Calgary defenseman Ian White have also filed for salary arbitration, a tool commonly used in North America to settle contract disputes.
Under the scheme, a neutral third party will decide the player's salary. If the team disagrees with the findings, the player can become an unrestricted free agent.
The hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to August 4.