‘Chicago-style’ voting cited for goalie’s award

A day after his huge playoff shutout against Nashville, Blackhawks rookie goalie Antti Niemi has joined Barack Obama, Pope John Paul II, Winston Churchill and countless other dignitaries as Time Magazine’s Man of the Year.

On the surface, Niemi’s honor seems unlikely, however, “Chicago-style” voting put him over the top.

“Look, if it wasn’t for Antti, we’d probably be out of the playoffs in no time,” said die-hard Blackhawks fan Johnny “No Nose” Gambotti. “I found the selection committee and let’s just say I leaned on them a little bit.”

Gambotti said he asked for almost nothing from Niemi in return for his help with the Man of the Year selection.

“All I ask is that Antti occasionally work the door at my gentlemen’s club,” said Gambotti. “We sometimes have trouble keeping the riff-raff — and Johnny Law — out and Antti seems adept at locking things down.”

Niemi was baffled by the award.

“Sure, I’m among the league-leaders in shutouts, but I don’t think that’s enough for Man of the Year,” he said. “Well, maybe it is when the alternative to me is Cristobal Huet.”

From The Heckler’s April 2010 issue. Click here to subscribe today!