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Thrillhouse 07-10-2009 11:32 AM

Lightning Sign Goaltender Antero Niittymaki
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent goaltender Antero Niittymaki today, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced.

“We fully recognized the need to add an experienced back-up goaltender this summer and today we feel we’ve accomplished that goal,” Lawton said. “Not only is Antero already an established number two in the NHL who can steal games, but we feel he is very capable of working with Mike Smith to give us a formidable 1-2 punch in goal.”

Niittymaki, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, has played in 161 career NHL games, all with the Philadelphia Flyers. He has posted a 62-61-23 record with a .901 save percentage and a 3.01 goals-against average. In 2005-06 Niittymaki was tied for third among rookie goaltenders in wins with 23, the most by a Flyers rookie since 1986-87. He was also named the NHL Defensive Player of the Week for the period ending January 8.

A native of Turku, Finland, Niittymaki won the Silver Medal with his native country at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, posting a 5-1-0 record, 1.34 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage with three shutouts. He was named to the Media All-Star team and was recognized as the Best Goaltender as well as the Tournament Most Valuable Player.

Niittymaki appeared in 32 games with Philadelphia in 2008-09, posting a 15-8-6 record, a .912 save percentage and a 2.76 goals-against average with one shutout. Last season he saw improvements from 2007-08 in games played from 28 to 32, losses from nine to eight, save percentage from .907 to .912 and goals-against average from 2.91 to 2.76.

Entering his sixth NHL season, Niittymaki was drafted by Philadelphia in the sixth round, 168th overall, of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Humpzilla 07-10-2009 12:31 PM

Watch this end up being 'Marc Denis' part 2

Humpzilla 07-10-2009 12:35 PM

Side note --

Which former Philadelphia athlete is going to be more of a bust:

Pat Burrell or Nittymaki?

we can start taking bets....

flyersrule 07-10-2009 12:39 PM

hmmm. thats a tough question hump.

i say nitty cause of the 2 bad hips

The Crow 07-10-2009 02:00 PM

Not a bad signing, he should be a good backup to Smitty.

flyersrule 07-10-2009 02:11 PM


Originally Posted by The Crow (Post 1734034)
Not a bad signing, he should be a good backup to Smitty.

ha. smitty and nitty.

silverback 07-10-2009 02:44 PM

I like Niittymaki, but what worries me is that both of our goalies now have serious health questions. Smith, obviously with the concussion problem from last year, and now Niittymaki with hip concerns.

TwentyOneKords 07-10-2009 08:23 PM

guess i'm in the minority but i always liked nitty.

antonio106 07-10-2009 09:22 PM


Originally Posted by TwentyOneKords (Post 1734355)
guess i'm in the minority but i always liked nitty.

I'd take him over Emery any day of the week.

canuckfan 07-10-2009 11:09 PM

Well, I guess if you have a goalie with the injury history Smith has, and the fact Ramo may not be the answer, then there's nothing wrong with adding some depth in your crease. Good to see that Tampa is actually trying to address their needs in their own end as opposed to their game plan last summer.

hockey doc 07-11-2009 10:51 AM


Originally Posted by Humpzilla (Post 1733982)
Side note --

Which former Philadelphia athlete is going to be more of a bust:

Pat Burrell or Nittymaki?

we can start taking bets....

Nitty will be hands down. The reason Homer did not trade him at the deadline last season was because he is damaged goods, bad hip, and not getting any better. Tampa got Nitty "as is" and are taking a chance he will recover, NOT.

mckendo83 07-13-2009 11:31 AM

I feel like everyone is underestimating the atrocity that pat burrell has become, it was pretty funny when he had 1 home run and was hitting under 250 while his 'replacement' Ibanez had 20 homeruns and hitting over 300....

ita appears that Burrell enjoys the sun, partying, and tanning - baseball is really just secondary at this point for him... he must have had a really good time in tampa after the phils won game one of the world series down there because he was hung over as sh*T during game 2, it was so obvious he looked like he was in a 12 round fight the night before... and then he signed there cause he had a blast...

BStreetBullies 07-13-2009 01:21 PM

Nittymaki has just been a ball of potential for like 5 years now. Does anybody remember the Olympics where he stole the show?

This guy can be great, I believe he needs a change of scenery, I just wish he could have found a starting spot somewhere. This guy can be good, nobody can deny this.

The Crow 07-17-2009 07:19 PM

600,000, not bad.

acd1 07-17-2009 07:38 PM


Originally Posted by The Crow (Post 1739569)
600,000, not bad.

Thats it??

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