Antti Niemi has agreed to a one-month contract to join Pelican Lahti in Finland while the NHL players are locked out. San Jose already had eight other players that will be playing overseas during the lockout, and Niemi becomes the ninth.
Niemi played for Pelican from 2005-2008 before joining the Chicago Blackhawks as an undrafted free agent. In 2010, he became the first Finnish goaltender to win a Stanley Cup. He joined the Sharks in September of 2010, and has three years left on his current contract with San Jose.
CSN Bay Area reported on Thursday that Niemi had been in discussions with several European teams, among those were clubs in his native Finland. Niemi had been working out with teammates Brad Stuart and Dan Boyle on rented ice at the Sharks' practice facility.
Other Sharks players that will be playing overseas include Joe Thornton (Switzerland), Michal Handzus (Slovakia), Logan Couture (Switzerland), Jason Demers (Finland), Joe Pavelski (Belarus), Douglas Murray (Sweden), TJ Galiardi (Germany) and Tommy Wingels (Finland).