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Monday, July 12, 2010
Arbitration date set for Niemi, Chicago

By Jesse Rogers
ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi's 2010-11 salary will be decided on July 29 by an arbitrator unless the team and Niemi can come to an agreement.

Niemi made $827,000 last season and is slated for a raise after helping the Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup championship in 49 years.

The team and Niemi have not been actively discussing a contract recently, according to a person familiar with the situation, making the date with an arbitrator more and more likely.

"We're still negotiating with Antti," Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "It's a back and forth. We're trying to get it done so we'll keep at it. "It's a negotiation. Both sides have their points of view so hopefully it works out."

Niemi is the only Chicago player slated for salary arbitration.

In other player news, Chicago matched the San Jose Sharks' four-year, $14 million offer sheet to restricted free-agent defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Also, the Blackhawks and free-agent defenseman Jordan Hendry appear to be getting closer on a deal, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com.