The long-term ability of Niklas Backstrom is being taken care of this summer, as the Finnish backstop will undergo hip surgery at the end of the week to remove a pair of cysts. The surgery will look to help Backstrom's mobility in the crease and help him to get back to his dominating self again. The rehab process can range upwards of six months recovery, which would be the third week of the regular season (potentially), but the team is confident that Backstrom will be ready for training camp in September.
This season, Backstrom signed a 4-year contract extension, which will pay him among the elite goalies in the league and give the Wild a substantial cap hit. The Wild don't have Backstrom signed to a huge deal, like Rick DiPietro on Long Island, but I'm sure they will do everything they can to avoid the DiPietro-like injury status of their number one goalie.