Chicago Blackhawks’ Best At Each Sweater, Nos. 31-40

By Colin Likas
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Apr 22, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) reacts during game three of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 31: G Antti Niemi (2009-10)

Some goaltenders who are still in the NHL have worn this number with the Blackhawks, Niemi obviously being one of them in Dallas. Craig Anderson and Antti Raanta have also worn the digits, and Brian Boucher (semi-recently retired) also took it.

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Oh, and so did Dominik Hasek. The Hall of Famer wore it for the 1991-92 season after wearing 34 in his rookie year. The Blackhawks obviously gave up on him way too soon, and so Niemi gains this spot in our countdown.

Niemi, like Corey Crawford after him, came on to the NHL scene a little late, making his league debut at age 25. He played in just three games during the 2008-09 season with Chicago before slowly taking the starting job from a lackluster Cristobal Huet.

Niemi would win 26 regular-season games with a .912/2.25 stat line, before following with an impressive postseason run for, essentially, a rookie goaltender. Niemi won 16 games with a .910/2.63 stat line, and his acrobatic saves constantly drew the call “NIEMI … SAYS NO” from Doc Emrick during the postseason. His helping Chicago to the 2010 Stanley Cup secures his spot on this list.

Next: No. 32