Who gets bought out is the question. Or how much do the Stars pay to trade one of the bums.
Great signing though.
Let's talk about Niemi first. Based on his abhorrent contract, and above 3.00GAA this season in 37 games played. Now, the thing with Niemi is that if he was still in that good-old Niemi performance with the Sharks, that 4.6 mill wouldn't be horrible. But for a 3.30GAA and .892SV% in 37 games played, some of which he substituted Lehtonen and others he was pulled for a final seasonal record of 12-12-4 in full games played and finished, That 4.6 million dollars is just not worth it. Now, if we look at Lehtonen's stats:
Lehtonen has a 2.85GAA and a SV% of .902. Sounds decent for a backup goalie, right? He could play a couple 30-40 games for the team, right? Well then you have to look at HIS contract:
$6,000,000 for 2016-17, however granted that will be falling to $5,000,000 next year. Now, think about this logically. Ben Bishop is a capable starter goalie, and the Stars needed him badly. Lehtonen's contract is ending after next season. You may be thinking "But Niemi's contract is cheaper and also ending next season, right?" Indeed, but once again, return to stats. I don't think Lehtonen will be worth anywhere near what he's being paid next season, but neither will Niemi by a long shot. So, I'd personally buy out Niemi and keep Lehtonen around for 2017-18 and see if I can negotiate a better contract for next year. Another thing with Lehtonen too; if they wanted to trade him, he has a modified NTC that started in 2015-16. It's based on GP and if the team makes the playoffs, however depending on those conditions being met/unmet he can submit up to a 12 team list of teams he will refuse to be traded to, making him hard to trade. HOWEVER, Niemi also has a modified NTC granting him a 15-team list of teams he will refuse to be traded to, so that point isn't really a pro/con for either goalie. Niemi and Lehtonen would probably never be traded anyways; no teams want 'em.