Hockey World Blog

Cristobal Huet Joining Swiss League

The Chicago Blackhawks are on top of the world right now with their Stanley Cup win last season. However, during that run for the Cup, GM Stan Bowman has dug his team in a deep hole of cap space issues.

In an effort to fix his sloppy mess, Bowman has shuffled more players than you can shake a stick at. At the top of the questionable move list is the team’s decision to walk away from Stanley Cup winning goaltender Antti Niemi. After an arbitration ruling of $2.75 million in favor of Niemi, the Blackhawks signed Turco for $1.3 million instead.

From a cap space viewpoint it does make sense… kinda, but from a longevity of the team, it is pure ridiculous. Niemi, age 26, has played only 1 full year in the NHL has won a Cup. Turco, age 34, is on the way out of the league and is still in hunt for his first Stanley Cup ring.

Bowman has now opted to loan out backup goaltender Cristobal Huet to a one-year deal with HC Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss National League A. Huet is paid on average of $5.625 million a season of his remaining 2 years.

Perhaps the move by Bowman is to fix the mess he has created, hopefully signing Niemi to split time with Turco. After a year when Turco’s contract is up, the team then will bring Huet back to play alongside Niemi. But then again, with just shy of 48 million already hitting the cap for the 2011-2012 season, Bowman still needs to decide what to do with 6 unrestricted free agents and 5 restricted free agents, some of which are Tomas Kopecky and Brent Seabrook.

Good luck Stan, I don’t think daddy can pull you out of this mess. It looks like Chicago is on the downfall yet again, maybe this time they will still leave them on the TV for local fans to watch.

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