Stars acquire Antti Niemi's negotiating rights for 7th-round pick

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Stars acquire Antti Niemi's negotiating rights for 7th-round pick
Stars acquire Antti Niemi's negotiating rights for 7th-round pick

Kari Lehtonen’s time in Dallas may not be for long, or Stars GM Jim Nill wants to go heavy on experience in net next season.

Not long into the start of Round 2 of the NHL Draft on Saturday, the Stars acquired the negotiating rights to Antti Niemi from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for pick No. 193. Niemi is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, so Nill has until Wednesday to work out a deal. 

"Antti is a proven goaltender, who has played and succeeded at the highest levels," Nill said. "He's one of the hardest working goalies out there and we look forward to working towards an agreement.”

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Lehtonen saw a bit of a career turnaround after being dealt from Atlanta in 2010. From last season he dropped off. After posting even-strength save percentages of .926, .924 and .925, he put up a .909 number in 2014-15. 

With Niemi gone, this leaves San Jose with only Alex Stalock, Troy Grosenick and Joel Rumpel as goalies under contract in their organization. The Sharks were in on Cam Talbot, but with him now being in Edmonton, GM Doug Wilson will have to look elsewhere.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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