Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Between The Pipes - Who Will Be Number 2?

Russo is reporting that the Wild may be having trouble signing Johan Gustafsson to an entry contract. It sounds to me like an agent thinks his client is a little hotter than he’s proven himself to be, but that has exactly zero effect on the more pressing goaltender issue in front of the Wild. In short, who will be Backstrom’s backup?

The Wild have said that it will be up to Josh Harding as to whether he returns. If I’m Harding, I’m taking a deal from Fletcher and Company. Hards loves Minnesota, he regularly gets ice time, and Backs’ contract is up next year. There aren’t many starting spots to go around in the league compared to the number of available net minders, and let’s face it, Harding didn’t have a stellar season last year. He’s certainly a better goalie that the 2011-2012 stats would suggest, and he’s got the chops to be a starter. I’m going to put my money on him sticking it out and staying in a Wild sweater for at least one more year.

Oh yeah, for those who actually follow the league as a whole, there’s something called the Stanley Cup Finals going on. I wish I had more details, but as a Wild writer the concept of hockey in May is just absolutely foreign to me. ;-)

The Kings took the opener, 2-1 in OT.

Tags: Chuck Fletcher Josh Harding Minnesota Wild NHL Niklas Backstrom

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