Backstrom signed a one-year contract with HIFK of Liiga on Friday, SiriusXM NHL Network reports. Backstrom spent nine seasons with the Wild and holds a franchise mark with 194 wins. The 38-year-old was traded to the Flames at this year's deadline, but made just four appearances between the posts. Considering the Flames were starved for goalie help this past season and still used Backstrom sparingly, one would think the veteran has played his last game in the NHL.
Backstrom made 35 saves Saturday against the Wild in what may have been his last career game. He earned a 2-1 win. It was a fitting way to go out if that's what ends up happening. Backstrom won 413 games and is Minny's franchise leader in starts, wins and shutouts. But he didn't play at all as the team's number three man in 2015-16 until the Flames gave him some time over the last three weeks. "I still love the game, still love the work, still love to be with the guys," said Backstrom, his eyes red and his lip quivering in a post-game interview. "But you never know."
Backstrom will tend the goal for Saturday's matchup with Minnesota, Roger Millions of Sportsnet Calgary reports. Believe it or not, there was a time when Backstrom was a top-tier goalie in the world. Upon coming to the NHL in 2006-07, he posted a save percentage of .920 or greater in three consecutive seasons, and won 93 games in this period. Since then, Backstrom's play has continuously deteriorated as he's dealt with injury and age, reaching rock bottom this season. Prior to being traded on deadline day, Backstrom hadn't appeared in one game. Since arriving from Minnesota, he's played three games, which has included allowing six and five goals, respectively, in his last two outings.
Backstrom yielded five goals on 22 shots in relief of Jonas Hiller in an 8-3 loss to Anaheim on Wednesday. That's two awful games in a row for Backstrom in which he's given up 11 goals on just 49 shots, making for a sub-.800 save percentage. Odds aren't real high he'll get another start this season, leading to an offseason where he may consider retirement.
Backstrom was torched Thursday, giving up six goals on 29 shots in a 6-2 loss to Minnesota. Backstrom was unable to pick up his second win of the season against a team he spent nine campaigns with. The 38-year-old netminder most likely earned himself a spot back on the bench, but that remains to be seen in what is a lost year for Calgary.
Last 7 Games
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