Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/24/13 at 01:33 PM ET
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Michael Russo suggests that the Minnesota Wild won't be getting into the goaltending revolving door sweepstakes this summer as they're about to re-sign Niklas Backstrom:
The Wild is close to inking its winningest goalie in franchise history. Assistant GM Brent Flahr told me on KFAN this morning that talks have been positive lately between Niklas Backstrom and GM Chuck Fletcher and something could be done soon.
I've sent a few emails, and it appears like a deal is as good as done. Backstrom said, "there's always a chance."
Trust me, it's done.
Continued, albeit briefly.
Update: that was quick, per the Wild:
Minnesota General Manager Chuck Fletcher continues to solidify the club’s roster this offseason and the Wild has re-signed a familiar presence in goal. The organization has agreed to terms with netminder Niklas Backstrom on a three-year contract.
The 35-year-old was a workhorse in net for the Wild in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, appearing in 42 regular season games (41 starts). He went 24-15-3 with a 2.48 goals-against average (GAA), a .909 save percentage (SV%) and posted two shutouts. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound goaltender set a franchise-record with an eight-game winning streak from March 14-30 and was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week on March 4 and Second Star of the Week on March 25.
Unfortunately due to an injury sustained before Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarter Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks, Backstrom did not appear in any of the team’s playoff games. He underwent successful sports hernia surgery on May 16.
Backstrom is the most successful goaltender in franchise history, owning the team's career win mark with 184 victories. He has spent his entire seven-year career in Minnesota, posting a 184-124-45 record, with a 2.43 GAA, a .917 SV% and 28 shutouts in 369 career games. Since entering the league in 2006-07, Backstrom ranks tied for eighth in shutouts and save percentage, ninth in games played, 10th in wins and 11th in GAA. He was originally signed by the Wild as a free agent on June 1, 2006.
In 2009, Backstrom was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the National Hockey League’s best goaltender. During that season, he also appeared in the NHL All-Star Game.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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