Today, we learned that G Antti Niemi of the Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks has been rewarded $2.75 million for his efforts in the NHL playoffs, as well as half a season as starting goalie of the Blackhawks.
An arbitrator ruled him as a potent goalie with a shot as a No. 1 goalie for a hockey club, and Stan Bowman, GM of Chicago, certainly has issues with that ruling. The Hawks have run into more and more salary cap issues, and it certainly got worse when Jonathan Toews received his bonus in the Cup Finals and the San Jose Sharks gave a $3.5 million offer sheet to Niklas Hjalmarsson.
They did not intend on paying their fifth or sixth defenseman that type of figure, but they didn't want to lose him either. Doug Wilson made him pay.
Now the question is, with Antti Niemi unable to sign with the Blackhawks due to cap restrictions after winning the Stanley Cup, how much is a top-dollar goalie such as Roberto Luongo really worth?
Luongo was paid $6.75 million a year by the Canucks and yet, he was outplayed by Niemi, who had a petite $827,000 deal. Certainly worth a thought. That salary freedom gave the Hawks roughly $6 million extra to pay their defense and forwards to compete each game.
How much is $6 million worth? Well, Ilya Kovalchuk almost signed for $6 million cap, and the Sedin twins each cost $6.1 million. In short, it is a major first line forward, or first pairing defenseman most likely.
Is Luongo worth the money?
It is now up to you to sound off, and decide. Vote now!