Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Backstrom Extends in Minny

The Wild quelled a few rumours this morning, as they have signed their number one goalie, Niklas Backstrom, to a 4-year contract extension, reportedly worth $24 million over the duration. For a number one goalie to be a $6 million cap hit, that is fairly reasonable, especially with some of the numbers Backstrom has been able to put up in his tenure with the Wild.

This season, Backstrom, a Draft pick of Larry's, has managed to win 28 games, 6 of them as shutouts and that totals 68 pool points this year. That's a fairly reasonable season, so far, but it isn't quite good enough to keep the Wild in the playoff race, as of right now. The Wild are only 2 points out of 8th place and a new contract could be the thing that solves a question or two in Backstrom's mind, in order to play a little bit better.

The $6 million cap hit does not do much harm to the Wild towards 2010, as they already have 16 players signed on for next season at a reasonable cap cost of $42.2 million (approx.). The team does have some interesting free agents, like Marc-Andre Bergeron, Stephane Veilleux, Martin Skoula and Marian Gaborik to contend with as UFAs, while Josh Harding, Benoit Pouliot and Dan Fritsche will all hit the RFA list. How would you fill in some of the gaps for next season, see below.

Mikko KoivuMarek ZidlickyNiklas Backstrom
Antti MiettinenBrent Burns
Pierre-Marc BouchardKim Johnsson
Andrew BrunetteNick Schultz
Owen NolanCraig Weller
Eric Belanger

James Sheppard

Cal Clutterbuck

Colton Gillies

Derek Boogaard

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