Hawks' Niemi files for salary arbitration

CHICAGO -- The Blackhawks Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Antti Niemi heads the list of 31 players headed to salary arbitration, the NHL Players' Association said Monday night.

Niemi's Chicago-based agent Bill Zito, who confirmed the filing, and Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman continue to discuss various opportunities for long-term and short-term deals.

If Niemi signs a one-year contract, whether it's through arbitration or negotiation, he becomes an unrestricted free agent next year because he'll be 27 years old. Niemi made $827,000 last season.

Hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to Aug. 4, with the specific dates to be announced Tuesday.

The Oilers, Canucks, Thrashers and Capitals top the list of teams heading to arbitration with three players each.

Washington forwards Eric Fehr and Tomas Fleischmann also filed, as did defenseman Jeff Schultz. Atlanta forwards Ben Eager, Andrew Ladd and Clarke MacArthur also elected to go to arbitration.

Center Gilbert Brule, goaltender Jeff Drouin-DesLauriers and defenseman Jean-Francois Jacques filed from the Oilers, as did Vancouver forwards Tanner Glass, Jannik Hansen and Mason Raymond.

Other notable players filing were Ottawa defenseman Chris Campoli and forward Peter Regin, Calgary defenseman Ian White, Philadelphia forward Daniel Carcillo and Boston forward Blake Wheeler.

Twenty players filed for arbitration last summer.

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.