As Adin Hill swatted another puck away in the Vegas Golden Knights’ 9-3 victory that clinched the Stanley Cup, one can only wonder if he’s holding a lottery ticket for a team desperately seeking goaltending help. Hill skated to the rescue when Laurent Brossoit went down with an injury in the second round of the playoffs against Edmonton.
Hill was another goalie who stepped up for Vegas due to injury with both Robin Lehner and Brossoit losing their seasons at different times.
Hill stepped up. So too, will his pay. Just like Antti Niemi’s
Niemi A Measuring Stick for Adin Hill
It was in 2010 when Niemi made the team out of training camp and then backed up the then started Crisobal Huet, who’d been inked only two years earlier to a big deal. Niemi outplayed him and by the beginning of the playoffs was named the starter.
He stood on his head and backstopped the Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup since 1961. But then came the offseason purge due to the salary cap and Niemi won his arbitration case, which ended his time in Chicago. The Blackhawks couldn’t afford the $2.75M hit and San Jose signed him for a year at $2M.
His strong play with the Sharks would earn him a four-year extension for $15.8M. Talk about earning your keep.
What do the numbers say
Hill’s entry started at just around the midway point of the playoffs. It was his save in the Final, if anything, that teams will remember if he ends up hitting the open market. It’s hard not to.
The Adin Hill save heard around the world. 🌏 #StanleyCup
(via IG/nhleurope) pic.twitter.com/j4qYikKoTU
— NHL (@NHL) June 5, 2023
So how do they compare?
- Niemi Regular Season: 26-7-4; 2.25 GAA; .912 save %; Playoffs: 16-6; 2.63; .910 save %
- Hill Regular Season: 16-7-1; 2.45 GAA; .915 save %; Playoffs: 10-4; 2.11; .934 save %
Hill’s playoff numbers were impressive, especially the save percentage in a league where scoring is higher. He played eight games less than Niemi but even his goals against average was significantly lower.
Regular season numbers were less in appearances but similar as well.
But with a Stanley Cup in tow and impressive numbers to boot, Hill surely is going to see a raise whether it’s in Vegas or elsewhere.
Because as Niemi could attest, the numbers don’t lie.