Antero Niittymaki is Back in the Flyers Organization As A Scout
The Flyers front office is loaded with former players who have enjoyed their tenure in Philadelphia so much they came back to work in the front office.
Former goalie Antero Niittymaki is the latest former Flyer to join the front office, serving as a scout in the European market for the Flyers. He joins former players like Derian Hatcher and Ian Laperriere who are now employed by the Flyers as personnel.
Niittymaki said he knew exactly where he wanted to go in the next phase of his professional hockey career. And after he played his final games for TPS Turku of the Finnish league, he made the call to Paul Holmgren for a job.
“I always liked it there [in Philadelphia],” Niittymaki told Flyers beat writer Anthony SanFillippo. “I had a great seven years there. I kind of grew up with the organization in the minors and then got a chance in the NHL. I was able to kind of get my name out there with the Flyers and I was felt that was my team. That organization was closest to me. I like the way the organization works and all the people there and everything about it. It’s where I always wanted to be."
Niittymaki added that he "never even thought about calling anybody else.”
Niittymaki was a big part of the 2004-05 Philadelphia Phantoms team that won the Calder Cup in the AHL. He posted a stellar 33-21-4 in 58 games with a 2.07 GAA and a .924 save percentage. He was phenomenal in the playoffs, leading a cast of future NHL stars including Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
Niitymaki also boasted one of my all-time favorite goalie masks. Inspired by Ken Hitchcock calling Niittymaki "Frank" in respect to the famous mobster Frank Nitti, Niittymaki put both Nitti and Al Capone on each side of his goalie mask with bullet casings flying from their Tommy Guns.
Read the rest of SanFillippo's story which is filled with Niitty talking about his career, why he retired and his plans with the Flyers organization.