Niklas Backstrom

#32 G / Minnesota Wild / EXP: 9YRS Height: 6-2 Weight: 194 lb Age: 37 College: None

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    • by RotoWire Staff | Special to

      Wild's Niklas Backstrom: Open to trade

      Backstrom is open to a trade if the Wild want to move him, reports. Backstrom is set to make $3.4 million this season in the final year of his contract. He's the No. 3 goalie and may not get any starts behind Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper if both stay healthy. It would seem likely he'll be on the move at some point this season to a team looking for a veteran goalie.

    • Wild's Backstrom Cleared By Docs, Ready For Camp

      News: Niklas Backstrom (elbow) said he was cleared by doctors last Friday to hit the ice when training camp begins later this week, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
      Analysis: Niklas Backstrom, 37, had been dealing with complications from his right elbow since last September, when he suffered a hyperextension in an exhibition game against the Jets and later aggravated it in March. Following that setback, Backstrom underwent surgery two days later and seems to have progressed well throughout the summer, putting him on track to skate in his 10th training camp with the Wild. Despite Backstrom's improved health, the Wild may not be particularly enthused about the return of the team's all-time winningest netminder, as Devan Dubnyk (29) and Darcy Kuemper (25) are both younger and profile as better options at this point. Additionally, with Backstrom owed $4 million this season at a cap hit of $3.4 million, the Wild will have difficulty finding any trade partners, particularly with the goalie's play and health declining in recent seasons. The team may simply have to bite the bullet and carry Backstrom as a rarely used third netminder.
    • Wild's Backstrom Waiting For Clearance

      News: Niklas Backstrom (elbow) was scheduled to visit team doctors this week with the hope of receiving clearance for the start of training camp, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
      Analysis: Niklas Backstrom required surgery over the summer to address a lingering elbow injury, and there remains some concern that he may not have healed enough to this point to take the ice when the season begins in October. In reality, it would probably be in the Wild's best interest for Backstrom to open the season on long-term injured reserve, as he's currently the No. 3 goalie on the depth chart behind Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper and carries a $3.4 million cap hit for 2015-16. Stashing Backstrom on long-term IR would allow the Wild to save a roster spot and avoid the financial hit of waiving him, as he would then be unavailable for at least the team's first 10 games.
    • Elbow Could Sideline Backstrom For Start Of Season

      News: The agent for Niklas Backstrom (elbow) acknowledged that his client likely won't be ready to play at the start of training camp in September, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
      Analysis: Niklas Backstrom underwent surgery in May to address nerve damage in his right elbow, an injury that was so severe that it prevented him from moving two of his fingers during the Wild's first-round series against the Blackhawks. Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper had surpassed Backstrom as the Wild's two preferred goalies by that point, which likely would have made the 37-year-old a buyout candidate for the team had he been back to full health this summer. Instead, it looks like the Wild will have to wait until the start of the season to make a decision on Backstrom, with his placement on the team's long-term injured reserve list seemingly the most likely outcome. Regardless of what the Wild end up doing with Backstrom, don't expect him to see the ice with the parent club next season barring an injury to one of the top two netminders on the depth chart.
    • Wild's Backstrom Undergoes Elbow Surgery

      News: Niklas Backstrom underwent elbow surgery after the season, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
      Analysis: The Wild were considering buying Niklas Backstrom's contract out at some point this offseason, as the 37-year-old goaltender has largely outlived his usefulness for the organization at this point in his career. However, this latest development may throw a wrench in those plans, as injured players cannot be bought out unless cleared by team physicians by June 30. Minnesota will hope that Backstrom is healthy enough to be cleared before the June 30 deadline, however, if he's not, the team will likely have to keep the aging goaltender on their roster for yet another season.
    • Wild's Backstrom Could Be Bought Out

      News: Niklas Backstrom could have his contract bought out by the Wild this summer, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
      Analysis: Niklas Backstrom is a long-time Wild icon as the franchise record holder in wins (194) and games (409), but he's outlived his usefulness for the organization at this point. The 37-year-old's $3.4 million cap hit forced the Wild to carry three goalies for much of the season, with Backstrom not seeing any appearances after Jan. 13 due to the outstanding play of Devan Dubnyk. The Wild plan to re-sign Dubnyk in the offseason and have another developmental option in Darcy Kuemper under contract for 2015-16, offering little incentive for the team to keep Backstrom around and eat up a roster spot. The team will probably first attempt to explore trading Backstrom, but given his age, large cap number, and sub-.900 save percentage over the last two seasons, it's more likely the Wild will be forced to unceremoniously release him.
    • Wild's Backstrom Collecting Cobwebs

      News: Niklas Backstrom hasn't appeared in a game for the Wild since Jan. 13.
      Analysis: With the Wild hardly secure in their position at the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff picture, coach Mike Yeo has ridden No. 1 netminder Devan Dubnyk with a heavy hand. Dubnyk has made 29 consecutive starts in net and has been dominant in most of those outings, creating little opportunity for Darcy Kuemper or Niklas Backstrom to see duty. Even if Yeo does decide to rest Dubnyk one of these days, the starting nod would more than likely go to the younger Kuemper, who fared better than Backstrom prior to Dubnyk's acquisition in January. It wouldn't be surprising if Backstrom didn't see a single appearance -- even in relief -- over the remainder of the season.
    • Caps' Backstrom Feeling Under Weather

      News: Niklas Backstrom is feeling ill and will not practice Tuesday, Mike Vogel of reports.
      Analysis: Niklas Backstrom will likely just be day-to-day ahead of Wednesday's matchup with the Rangers. He stuck around team facilities to receive treatment from the training staff, indicating that the illness isn't all that serious.
    • Wild Turn To Dubnyk Over Backstrom

      News: Niklas Backstrom's new teammate, Devan Dubnyk will start Thursday's game against the Sabres.
      Analysis: Niklas Backstrom had previously been on track to start the contest, but the Wild have instead elected to roll with Dubnyk on Thursday, as the team tries to snap out of an 0-5-1 slide.
    • Wild's Backstrom To Start Tuesday

      News: Niklas Backstrom will get the start in net Tuesday against the Penguins.
      Analysis: With Darcy Kuemper still recovering from a lower-body injury, Niklas Backstrom will get the start between the pipes for the fourth consecutive game Tuesday. Backstrom is 5-6-3 on the season with a 2.83 GAA and a .892 save percentage.
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