UPDATED: Antero Niittymaki Signs With Finnish Club TPS

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According to iltasanomat.fi, former NHL netminder Antero Niittymaki has signed a deal with SM-Liga team TPS.

Remember this guy? On the first day of free agency in summer 2010, Niittymäki replaced long time San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov because of salary cap considerations. Niittymäki played strongly at the beginning of the season, earning the Sharks Player of the Month award in October. However, he sustained another lower body injury, resulting in him missing 17 games, during which Antti Niemi solidified his standing as the starting goaltender. In his second year in San Jose, an injury forced him to mis the first months. Upon his return, Thomas Greiss, who had been backing Niemi retained his role as the Sharks backup goaltender, and Niittymaki was waived. He did not play a single NHL game last season.

Niitty has previously played for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning and most recently Sharks, as well as in the SM-liiga and the American Hockey League. At the 2006 Winter Olympics, while playing for Team Finland, he was voted the MVP of the entire tournament.

Niittymaki displays a calm demeanor at all times and plays with a lot of poise in the crease. He can make spectacular saves at key moments of a hockey game. However, he must rely on positioning and reflexes, because he doesn’t cover a lot of the net with his frame alone, and is prone to inconsistency.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

 

 

 

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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