Report: Penguins Place Backup G Niemi On Waivers

By: Casey Shea

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins have reportedly placed goaltender Antti Niemi on waivers.

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the team made the move Monday afternoon.

The move should come as no surprise to many. To say Niemi has struggled with the Penguins would be putting it nicely. In his three starts for the Penguins, he’s allowed a whopping 16 goals on just 79 shots. To date, Niemi boasts a 7.50 GAA with a .797 save percentage.

In his Penguins debut, Niemi allowed four goals on 13 shots against the Chicago Blackhawks. That debut lasted just 9:16 as Murray came on in relief. The Penguins went on to lose 10-1.

Niemi then allowed five goals on 34 shots in a 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 12. In his most recent start, Niemi was shelled again by the Lightning. On Sunday, he allowed seven goals on 32 shots as the Penguins fell 7-1.

The Penguins signed Niemi to a one-year deal worth $700,000 over the summer. He was brought in to be a veteran backup after Marc-Andre Fleury was selected by the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL Expansion Draft.

Later in the day, the Pens recalled goaltender Casey DeSmith from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He has made three starts this season for the Penguins’ minor league affiliate, posting a 3-0 record.

Oct. 24 Update:

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Niemi was claimed off waivers by the Florida Panthers. Niemi could help fill a gap in Florida due to an injury to Roberto Luongo’s hand.

Luongo suffered the injury during the Penguins’ 4-3 win over Florida on Friday.

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