Niemi to Finland; Stuart's no-trade clause


Antti Niemi became the ninth Sharks player to sign with a team overseas on Friday, when he agreed to a one-month contract to play for Pelicans Lahti in his home country of Finland (according to the team website, via

Niemi told on Thursday that he was in discussions with several teams abroad, and apparently decided on one some time between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

Other Sharks players on the other side of the world include Joe Thornton and Logan Couture (Switzerland); Jason Demers and Tommy Wingels (Finland); Joe Pavelski (Belarus); Douglas Murray (Sweden); Michal Handzus (Slovakia) and TJ Galiardi (Germany).

Stuart has a no-trade clause

When Brad Stuart signed a three-year contract for 3.6 million annually with the Sharks this summer, it was generally viewed as him taking a bit of a hometown discount, as he had just completed a four-year deal with Detroit for an annual salary of 3.75 million. Theres little doubt that Stuart could have gotten much, much more as an unrestricted free agent.

RELATED: Stuart ready for his return to Sharks

One reason he came so cheaply, other than a chance to spend more time with his family, is that Stuart has a full no-trade clause in the first year of his deal, and a very limited no-trade clause in years two and three. In the final two years, if the Sharks requested, Stuart would be able to list just seven teams to which he would accept a trade.

Still, after seeing some of the salaries that were dished out for solid (and even marginal) defensemen this summer, the Sharks have to be ecstatic with Stuarts price tag for the next three seasons.

Surprise talks between the NHL, NHLPA on Friday

In yet another episode of at least theyre talking, the NHLs Gary Bettman and Bill Daly met with the NHLPAs Donald and Steve Fehr in Toronto, reportedly for two-and-a-half hours.

RELATED: NHL cancels first two weeks of games

Daly told CSNPhilly.coms Tim Panaccio the meetings were a "general discussion of where we were and how to try to move process forward from here. We talked about possibly scheduling some meetings for next week, but mostly to deal with the other issues. Will touch base with the union over the weekend."

The NHL on Thursday canceled all games through Oct. 24, although a full, 82-game schedule could still be possible in the unlikely event of a quick agreement.

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