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Blackhawks’ Antti Niemi heads list of 31 players filing for salary arbitration

TORONTO – Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi heads the list of 31 players headed to salary arbitration, the NHL Players’ Association announced Monday night.

Niemi—who backstopped Chicago to its first Stanley Cup since 1961—will be looking for a hefty raise from the US$827,000 he made in 2009-10.

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

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

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

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

Twenty players filed for arbitration last summer.

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