Minnesota Wild Re-sign No. 1 Goalie Niklas Backstrom


Apr 9, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (32) against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Xcel Energy Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

According to their website, the Minnesota Wild have re-signed franchise starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom to a three-year contract.

Backstrom, 35, was without question Minnesota’s workhorse this season, appearing in 42 of 48 games in the lockout-shortened season. He notched a 24-15-3 record while recording a 2.48 goals against average, a .909 save percentage and two shutouts. The best goaltender in franchise history set yet another mark with an eight-game winning streak between March 14th and 30th, garnering the NHL’s Third Star of the Week on March 4th and Second Star of the Week on March 25th.

“Our first priority was to resign Nik,” Fletcher said. “He’s been a model of consistency over his career. We found a way to give him some security in terms of a three-year deal and in exchange he was willing to work with us in terms of our cap situation and give us a cap number that is very workable for not just this year, but going forward.

“It’s a win-win.”

“(Backstrom) earned the trust of his teammates with his professionalism and his work ethic,” Fletcher said. “Nobody is more prepared as a goaltender as Nik, I’ve never seen a goalie practice that hard, you gotta give him a lot of credit.”

Given Backs’ 184 wins, 2.43 goals against average, .917 save percentage and 28 shutouts are the best for any goalie in Wild history, this is a very smart signing that gives Minnesota a legitimate shot at another serious playoff run next season. Not bad for a 2006 undrafted free agent signing out of Finland.