Antti Niemi is used to this by now. According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Florida Panthers have placed the goaltender on waivers today, the third time he’s headed to the wire in the last few months. Niemi was waived by Pittsburgh earlier in the year, and by the Dallas Stars this summer before buying the goaltender out of his contract.
The Panthers had claimed him earlier this season after Roberto Luongo went down to injury, but allowed five goals on just 39 shots in his two appearances. While an .872 save percentage is much better than what he put up in Pittsburgh (.797) it’s still not good enough to stick in the NHL. With Luongo back healthy, the team no longer needs his services.
It will be interesting to see if Niemi is claimed this time around, or if the Panthers are able to keep him around in the AHL. Their minor league affiliate in Springfield has two goaltenders, but neither is off to a spectacular start to the season. Niemi comes with just a $700K cap hit, so would not affect the team’s salary cap if he was sent to the minor leagues.