Not even an hour soon after Carey Price spoke to the mass media and said his personal injury had not been serious, the Canadiens added a veteran back again up goalie with their roster.
MON statements Niemi – Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 14, 2017
Antti Niemi is going to be around to serve as Charlie Lindgren’s back up until Value is activated from the injured reserve in the future.
In three online games with Pittsburgh this season, Niemi posted a 7.49 GAA and a .797 save percentage. After becoming waived by the Penguins, he played two more game titles with the Florida Panthers where he had a 5.11 GAA and .872 SV%. His overall numbers are 0-4 with a .822 save percentage and 6.74 GAA in five appearances.
With Al Montoya also on the shelf indefinitely, this approach gives Montreal a veteran back up, and allows Zach Fucale to return to the AHL where he can take some pressure off of rookie goalie Michael McNiven.
The Rocket are back action tomorrow night, which escalates the urgency for a second goalie in the AHL. They previously got signed emergency backups to test contracts.
Niemi appears to be a stop-gap measure who’s highly unlikely to find extended play. If anything happens to Carey Cost after his return, expect Charlie Lindgren to promptly supplant the Finn as the starter for the Canadiens.
Marc Bergevin spoke to the mass media and gave his reasoning behind the move to combine Niemi to the roster.
Marc Bergevin says with two small goalies now and Al Montoya getting out indefinitely he wanted a good veteran goalie as insurance, hence Niemi. – Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) November 14, 2017
“He does not have NHL experience and spent virtually all the year last year in the ECHL.”–Bergevin on Fucale as backup…. – Eric Engels (@EricEngels) November 14, 2017
Bergevin also enjoyed it near to the vest, since usual, when he was asked about keeping Charlie Lindgren in the NHL when both Cost and Al Montoya are healthy.