Shake It Up – Niemi Waived; DeSmith Recalled
October 23, 2017
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Around noon Monday, news broke that the Pittsburgh Penguins placed backup goaltender Antti Niemi on waivers.
Niemi boasted horrible numbers while with the Pittsburgh Penguins serving as the backup to Matt Murray, posting an 0-3 record and a 7.49 goals against average and a .747 save percentage. He was just not working out for the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
So the Penguins waived him. The other 30 teams have till noon Tuesday to put a claim in on him. Question is, who? You have the Vegas Golden Knights who are without Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban right now due to injury. Does Vegas see Niemi as a viable stop gap until Subban or Fleury recover?
In a lateral move, Pittsburgh recalled Casey DeSmith from Wilkes-Barre.
For those who are thinking, “why not Tristan Jarry?” The answer is simple. DeSmith has played better.
DeSmith is 3-0 and has a .965 save percentage. He’s yet to give up a goal at even strength this year.
Jarry is 1-2 and has an .883 save percentage. He’s fighting through a slump and needs to work out of it. Recalling him to serve as backup now would shatter his confidence levels the way he’s currently playing.
So that leaves Wilkes-Barre in a bit of a bind.
Option A: Niemi clears. It’s already been said that he’d be assigned here if that happens. He comes down, finds his game, and makes Pittsburgh recall him again.
Option B: Niemi is claimed. That leaves Wilkes-Barre with a hole at the backup position. A recall from Wheeling (Sean Maguire most likely) becomes a short term solution while Coal Street attempts to swing a deal for a backup to Jarry.
We will see what happens. The situation is hardly ideal for the organization as a whole but Niemi’s play left no choice.
More Tuesday after noon, presumably.