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Injury To Niklas Backstrom May Prevent The Minnesota Wild From Buyout Option

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

For months, it has been presumed that the Wild would buy out the final year of veteran Niklas Backstrom’s contract this month. Hampered by injuries the past five years, the 37-year-old struggled this past season, particularly after Darcy Kuemper was injured in January. It was Backstrom’s final start of the season Jan. 13 at Pittsburgh — a 7-2 loss — that precipitated the Jan. 14 trade for Devan Dubnyk.

Well, as it turns out, the Wild might not be permitted to buy out Backstrom. General Manager Chuck Fletcher confirmed Sunday that Backstrom underwent elbow surgery after the season.

“He had a procedure done at the end of the season to clean up a problem that happened earlier in the year,” Fletcher said. “I honestly don’t know the full prognosis at this point, but it’s not a long-term thing and we’re hoping that he’ll be good to go in short order and healthy.”

Injured players cannot be bought out unless cleared by team physicians. Last June, the Wild couldn’t use its last of two compliance buyouts on Backstrom because he wasn’t cleared from season-ending abdominal and hip surgeries.

The NHL buyout period begins June 15 or 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final (whichever is later) until June 30. It’s believed that Backstrom, who has returned to Finland, has yet to be cleared and might not be by June 30.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: niklas+backstrom

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Paul's avatar

Also in the article…

Left winger Thomas Vanek, who had no goals in the playoffs, underwent surgery in Philadelphia for a sports hernia last week, Fletcher confirmed. Typical recovery is six weeks.

“It bothered him for a lot of the second half,” Fletcher said. “We gave it some rest, but it didn’t seem to be getting better, so we opted for the surgical route. We expect him to be 100 percent by training camp.”

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/08/15 at 09:23 AM ET

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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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