A Marty Turco rumor has finally come true, and the goaltenders' summer of apparent frustration and waiting has come to a happy conclusion as the Chicago Blackhawks are forced to walk away from their Stanley Cup winning goaltender and sign the 34 year old UFA to an undisclosed deal.
The only thing we can be sure of is that it's significantly less than the $2.75 million Niemi was awarded by a third party arbitrator. Turco was supposedly offered a deal close to $2 million a season by the Flyers earlier this summer but turned it down. Marty confirmed in text message yesterday that he definitely wasn't going to Philadelphia. Of course by then he probably already knew that Chicago was in the works.
Niemi was awarded a $2.75 million judgment from an arbitrator on Saturday, and the Blackhawks had 48 hours whether to accept the judgment, trade him or let him become an unrestricted free agent. He now is an unrestricted free agent.
Turco went 22-20 with a 2.7 goals-against average and .913 save percentage and four shutouts for the Dallas Stars.
Niemi was 26-7 with a 2.2 GAA and .912 save percentage. He also had seven shutouts.
Even with both Blackhawks netminders posting more than respectable numbers, fans and media alike were openly critical of the position last year and many were surprised when Chicago did not make a move at the deadline for goaltending help. They responded by winning the Stanley Cup.
Those questions will persist for Marty next season and he will likely be privy to the same skepticism and high standards fans set for him here in Dallas. The difference of course is that his supporting cast will be, excuse me, vastly superior.
Even though he technically departed on July 1st, this really drives it home for us: Marty Turco is no longer a Dallas Star. Say what you will about him, but there's something sad about it.
Good luck, Marty.
Here is some of our previous coverage of Marty Turco's exit from Big D: