CHICAGO, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- The Chicago Blackhawks Monday turned their backs on Antti Niemi, the goalie who helped them win the Stanley Cup this season, rather than pay him $2.75 million.
Chicago General Manager Stan Bowman, trying to create some salary cap elbow room, decided the one-season price determined by an arbitrator Sunday was just too confining.
Instead, he signed Marty Turco, 34, for a reported $1.3 million.
Niemi, 26, is now an unrestricted free agent.
The Blackhawks also have under-performing goalie Cristobal Huet, who signed a four-year deal two years ago for $22.4 million.
Huet lost his starting job to the rookie Niemi last season and now faces the prospect of backing up the veteran Turco.