With the San Jose Sharks' budget tight and needs many (click this link to view the offseason series posted on the Sharks page at Sports Haze Bay Area), the team must get the most out of every dollar spent.
The player on the current roster offering the least impact for his salary is Antero Niittymaki. He was signed to a two-year, $4 million deal last July to become the Sharks starting goalie.
This may not have been the best of moves given the number of other goalies signed for less and his history of injuries (added to in 2011). But it was understandable because he was coming off a solid season as a starter (.909 save percentage in 49 games) and not many starters can be had for just $2 million a year.
However, things changed when the team had a chance to sign Antti Niemi. With Niemi the projected starter for the next four seasons and expected to put in 60 games a year, paying $2 million for a player who will be in about two dozen games including the playoffs is a luxury this team cannot afford.
Niitty had a 2.72 goals-against average (Nemo's was 2.38) and a save percentage of .896 (Nemo's was .920). He played well in relief during the playoffs, stopping 29 of 30 shots (.967) and collecting a win, but it was not enough to unseat Nemo.
The reality is those numbers will not set him apart from others in this list, much less warrant paying him more.