Niemi Claimed by Florida
October 24, 2017
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Noon Tuesday came and went in Wilkes-Barre with the news that the Florida Panthers placed a claim on goaltender Antti Niemi.
That places the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins in a bind at the backup position. What was a 1A-1B situation with Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith is essentially Tristan Jarry and a gaping hole at the backup position.
Sean Maguire in Wheeling is hurt. He didn’t play in either of the Wheeling Nailers games this past weekend and didn’t even dress. Wilkes-Barre has no other goaltender under contract.
Silver lining, if there is one, is that the Penguins don’t play a three in three weekend for the foreseeable future. They are home and away this weekend with Hershey and Bridgeport respectively and are off next Saturday, November 4.
That gives the brass at Coal Street a few weeks to make a move for a backup. You have to think at this point the pool is pretty picked over, but there could be a diamond in the rough out there, somewhere.
Situation may not be permanent. Pittsburgh could still get a backup for Matt Murray and send DeSmith back to Wilkes-Barre. Florida could waive Niemi, whereby the Penguins could presumably claim him back and assign him to Wilkes-Barre.
While anything can and most likely will happen, I wouldn’t bank on that last paragraph as much.
More as it comes, if not then back here Friday for the Gameday setup against the Hershey Bears.