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Oh, the stresses and strains of the family vacation. Arguments about the radio. Kids in the backseat asking "are we there yet?" And, of course, that moment when a Finnish sportswriter calls up and informs you that you're on waivers before your NHL employer does.
Such was the case for San Jose Sharks goaltender Antero Niittymaki's vacation to Lake Tahoe, according to MTV3 in Finland. He found out from the media that the Sharks had placed him on waivers on Wednesday.
Journalist and friend of the blog Matias Strozyk (@tomppaaax) provides the translation of Nitty's quotes:
"I'm on waivers? Nobody told me anything or called me."
"It's not a surprise. There was some talk yesterday. I'm glad they did it and are trying to do something."
"I don't want to be in this organization at all anymore, nothing wrong with city. Glad they did it, hope somebody picks me up."
"I'm not the hottest name in market and my salary isn't on my side either. $2 million is big money for someone who hasn't played much."
There was no room with the Sharks, as Antti Niemi is the established starter and Thomas Greiss earned the back-up gig. It's assumed a 31-year-old goaltender with a proven track record as a dependable backup who pushes the starter will garner interest — especially when he's an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Jonathan Willis wonders about the Oilers. Niittymaki's former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, would seem like a fit, but they might not be interested. Do the Flyers still want to add another goalie to their odd recipe?
Mark Emmons of the Mercury News reports that "If Niittymaki clears waivers, Sharks will continue to try to find a trade partner. Assigning him overseas also will be a possibility."
Hence a cap hit-for-cap-hit deal might be what liberates Niittymaki in the end.