The move isn’t unexpected by the Stars, as Dallas had recently acquired netminder Ben Bishop from the Los Angeles Kings in May. Bishop is considered to be the Stars’ starter in net for next season, with former starter Kari Lehtonen likely taking the role of the backup.
Niemi had an .892 save percentage in 37 games played this past season for the Stars, the worst in the league by a goaltender with 30 or more games played. The 33-year-old is a lifetime .913 save percentage goaltender, but his two years in Dallas were the worst years of his nine-year NHL career.
The buyout will cost the Stars $1.5 million on the cap for the next two seasons, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli. It will, however, also save the Stars $1.5 million in actual cash.
Niemi would have been on the final year of a three-year, $13.5 million deal coming into the 2017-18 season.