Thursday, July 9, 2009

Antero Niittymaki is going to Russia

Unable to stay with the Flyers and unable to sign anywhere else in the NHL, goaltender Antero Niittymaki has decided to go play in Russia. The former Flyer, who played five seasons in net, signed with Ray Emery's old team in the KHL, Atlant Moscow Oblast. Think of it as an international trade, Emery for Niittymaki.

Niittymaki's career with the Flyers was filled with promise, starting with his strong run with the Phantoms in the AHL, but finished with a whimper as he battled injuries and inconsistency. At age 29, his career in the NHL is by no means over, if he can have a solid season in the KHL, there is no reason he couldn't come back.

In related news, Martin Biron remains unsigned. Most teams already have their starting goaltender in place, so Biron now appears to be searching for a backup role somewhere in the league. He will likely have to take a big cut in pay over what he was initially looking for.

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