As the days go by and the NHL lockout drags on, more players will be flocking to other professional leagues in an attempt to keep their skills sharp should the work stoppage come to a conclusion. Minnesota Wild goaltender, Niklas Backstrom is the latest big name NHL player to jump across the pond as he’s agreed to suit up for the Dynamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.
Ben Goessling of the Pioneer Press reports that the deal is contingent on Backstrom returning to Minnesota once the lockout ends but with more players finding temporary homes, it could be an indication that we are in for a long and painful CBA negotiation process.
The KHL is proving to be the hot spot for many NHL superstars with the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk and most recently Ilya Kovalchuk heading overseas. The aforementioned three shouldn’t come as a surprise given their Russian heritage but Backstrom could have returned to his home country of Finland to play in the Finnish Elite League before choosing the KHL.
Backstrom is recovering from off season ankle surgery. Last season the 34-year old played in 46 games while posting a 19-18-7 record with a 2.43 GAA and a .913 save percentage to go with 4 shutouts.
More reaction is forthcoming and we’ll keep you posted on the details of Backstrom’s decision right here at Gone Puck Wild.