Report: The Sharks convinced GM Doug Wilson to keep Antti Niemi

Antti Niemi’s name was thrown around quite a bit heading into the trade deadline. The San Jose Sharks appeared willing to make a change in net as they prepared to make a last push for a playoff berth. Confidence in Niemi was lacking to say the least. The rumors persisted, the deadline passed and Niemi is still with the Sharks.

What happened?

According to the Mercury News, a group of the team’s leaders met with GM Doug Wilson and requested that the team keep Niemi in the mix.

One reason Niemi may still be with the Sharks, according to a report by San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy, is a meeting 24 hours before the trade deadline when a group of the team’s leaders met with Wilson and expressed their preference to have Niemi be part of the push to make the playoffs.

That should make Niemi feel pretty good. It sounds like the vast majority of Sharks support Niemi and they want to play in front of him while chasing down a playoff spot.

Of course, this whole situation further speaks to the divide between San Jose management and the players. The club has made some rather bizarre decisions – overhauling the team’s leadership for starters – and this case with Niemi appears to be another “players vs. management” case. That may be reading a bit too far into things, but it’s clear the Sharks and the team’s management are on two different pages.

About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.