We all heard the news today that Antti Niemi signed with the Sharks for a 2 year deal.
We also all heard how he didn't, how he may have, and how he might have offers from more team then the Sharks.
You may have also heard that water is wet, the universe in unfathomably large, and the sun is hot. (but not as hot as Douglas Murray)
Right now, we do have some independent confirmation but nothing official. But despite that, it's still worth investigating just what may or may not have gone down this afternoon. All I know is, Greg Jamison picked a helluva day to announce he's stepping down.
First off, let me just state that I am not a member of the hard line opposition to Niemi being here. Whatever. If he is, he is, if he's not, he's not. I know he didn't win the Cup for Chicago, Chicago won it because they were that good. He just happened to be a part of that. Seeing as how I didn't really trust Greiss to be a solid backup in net this year, I'm not entirely surprised that the Sharks would be looking for another man in the nets, I'm just surprised it's one we basically all wrote off at the start of free agency. Now, that was clearly a mistake, but one many of us are guilty of. I do recall not being opposed to the notion back when it first became clear that Niemi was available, but I would say I was in the minority on that one. So much so that I backed off it almost completely. Now, here we are, with Niemi possibly in teal.
Gotta love the off season.
Several things puzzle me about this "deal":
1) DW spent the better part of the summer saying Nitty was our man in net. He wasn't going Niemi, he wanted Nitty, he got him and that's that.What does signing Niemi mean for Nitty?
2) Why wait this long to sign a Niemi?
3) Why grab another goalie when we need defensemen? And we really need defensemen.
4)Why string Greiss a long? Oh DW, you are such a tease!
Several things are possible here:
Niemi was taking HIS time to decide where he wanted to go.
DW was always looking for a second goalie to back up or tandem with Nitty, but was playing his cards close to his chest like always.
The Sharks came to the realization that Greiss was not the answer and aren't convinced our Stalock who art in net is ready for the bigs just yet. Clearly they knew they weren't going to be bringing Nabby back, so, without him to basically play all season and no real confidence in Greiss, you need a second option in net.
Niemi wasn't looking like a good deal...until now. Things change.
DW is certifiably insane.
I put in the last one as a joke. I don't believe he's nuts, in fact, I trust that he has a plan. (he's like a Cylon that way) I don't know what this plan is, when we will see it in action or if we will even know it when we see it, but I trust it exists. For all the crap we give him as fans Doug Wilson clearly knows what he's doing. Sure, some of his deals have flopped, (*cough* Guerin *cough*) but what team hasn't had that happen to them? He looks for players he thinks will fit our needs and pursues them relentlessly. He has more information than we do, and a helluva lot more hockey knowledge. Even if his moves sometimes puzzle me, I do trust his judgement. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I feel like DW was plotting something along these lines all along. An opportunity to move had simply not presented itself until now.
We still need D, and with Niemi signed we most certainly will have to trade for it. It's quite likely, assuming this deal actually goes down tomorrow, that those wheels are already spinning. It was pretty likely they were spinning already. Signing D was looking less and less likely. Greiss is likely on his way out as I can't see DW being the type of guy to sign a man, move him out here, have him practice with the team some and then boot him off to another team. That's just poor business sense. (watch me be wrong. That would be a total dick move though and I just can't see Wilson doing that) He's been adamant that Nitty is the guy, and I seriously doubt he's going anywhere.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out tomorrow/in the coming days. Despite the need for D, this could be a potential boon for the Sharks. Stayed tuned friends. It's going to be a crazy ride!