Backstrom will become Columbus' European Goaltending Coach, ending his professional career.
Backstrom registered a 1.73 GAA and .921 save percentage in 15 games for Finnish club Tappara last season. Prior to heading back overseas, the netminder enjoyed a 10-year NHL career, in which he posted a 196-144-50 record with a .914 save percentage.
Backstrom signed a one-year contract with HIFK of Liiga on Friday, SiriusXM NHL Network reports.
Backstrom spent nine seasons with the Wild and leads the franchise 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. Upon coming to the NHL in 2006-07, he posted save percentages of .920 or better in three consecutive seasons, winning 93 games in that 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 a single game. Since arriving from Minnesota, he's played three times, which has included allowing 11 goals over 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.
Backstrom will tend the twine Thursday against Minnesota, Pat Steinberg of Sportsnet 960 The FAN reports.
Backstrom was solid in his first outing of the 2015-16 campaign as he made 21 of a possible 22 saves. The veteran, who will be a free agent this off season, gets another chance to impress both his new team and any potential suitors. It remains unclear how much ice time the netminder will get, as coach Bob Hartley has yet to reveal plans for Calgary's three-headed goalie monster that includes Joni Ortio and Jonas Hiller.
Backstrom stopped 21 of the 22 shots in Sunday's 4-1 victory in Montreal.
Well, that was quite a debut in a Flames sweater for the 38-year-old. The game marked his first start since Jan. 13, 2015, and his first victory since a shootout win over Arizona on Dec. 13, 2014. Although this victory came against a struggling Montreal team, it was still great to see the veteran recapture some of his old glory. He had a shutout going through two periods, but allowed a third-period goal to Michael McCarron. Backstrom could be a popular fantasy play when he takes the ice Thursday against the Wild, but temper your expectations. We'd have to see another strong performance in order to fully trust him moving forward.
Backstrom is slated to start both Sunday against the Canadiens and Thursday against the Wild, Derek Wills of Sportsnet 960 The Fan reports.
Meanwhile, Jonas Hiller is in line to start for the Flames in Monday's game against the Maple Leafs. Sunday's tilt against the Habs will mark Backstrom's first NHL action since a 7-2 loss to the Penguins back on Jan. 13, 2015, when the 38-year-old played for the Wild.
Backstrom is set to make his Flames debut in goal Sunday against the Canadiens, Derek Wills of Sportsnet 960 The Fan reports.
Backstrom, who was sent to Calgary prior to the trade deadline in exchange for David Jones, seems likely to see limited duty the rest of the way behind Joni Ortio. Nonetheless, the veteran will prepare for an Oilers club that's struggled to light the lamp consistently so far in March.
Backstrom was traded to Calgary on Monday in exchange for foward David Jones.
Backstrom has nine years of experience and it's all been spent with Minnesota. His strong ties to the club allowed him to become the team's all-time leader in wins (194). The 38-year-old hasn't played a single minute between the pipes in the NHL this season, though he did briefly serve as a backup in mid-December, when starting goalie Devan Dubnyk was out with a groin injury. It appears that Backstrom, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, has a decent shot at playing time with the Flames as the club lacks experience behind Jonas Hiller.
Backstrom has served as the Wild's backup goalie the last two games with Devan Dubnyk out with a groin injury, but is unlikely to start in back-to-back games, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
It sounds like Darcy Kuemper will start Saturday at San Jose in the second of back-to-back games. Backstrom hasn't appeared in an NHL game since Jan. 13 and it sounds like the Wild are reluctant to give him a start. The Wild still hope to trade Backstrom at some point this season.
Backstrom is open to a trade if the Wild want to move him, Sportsnet.ca 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.
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.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.
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.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.
The agent for 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.
Backstrom underwent elbow surgery after the season, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Backstrom could have his contract bought out by the Wild this summer, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Backstrom hasn't appeared in a game for the Wild since Jan. 13.
Backstrom is feeling ill and will not practice Tuesday, Mike Vogel of washingtoncaps.com reports.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.