Blackhawks News

Top 10–#8 Antti Niemi

By Keith Schultz

Antti Niemi- Credit- Robin Alam/Icon SMI

#8 of my top 10 Blackhawks of all-time will be the only Blackhawk that only spent one full season with the team.  Antti Niemi was suppose to be the backup for Cristobal Huet as the Hawks entered the 2009-2010 campaign.  He started and ended his only full season with the Hawks with a BANG!!!

His first game was played in Helsinki Finland in game #2 of the season, he shutout the Panthers that day as the Chicago Blackhawks won 4-0.  After Huet continued to struggle  so Niemi kept getting the nod from Coach Quenneville and he responded going 26-7-4 in the regular season.

It’s what Niemi did in the summer of 2010 that gets him on this list. He went 16-6 and was the first persons arms that Patrick Kane jumped into after he scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal that nobody saw the first time it went in.

Niemi was never spectacular but he was very effective.  He is the only goalie wearing a Blackhawks jersey to hoist a Stanley Cup over his head in my lifetime.  I know there are greater Hawk legendary goalies but they didn’t play in my lifetime or achieve the biggest thrill in hockey.

Niemi started his one season with a shutout in his homeland and ended it with a Stanley Cup. It may not be a movie script but it gets him number 8 on this list.