Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Wild Shut Down Backstrom

The Minnesota Wild goaltender tandem now appears to be set for the remainder of the year, barring another deal on Trade Deadline Day, as Niklas Backstrom has been reportedly shut down for the remainder of the year, due to his abdominal injury problem, leaving Darcy Kuemper and the newly-acquired Ilya Bryzgalov to the task of getting the job done.

It was a rough year for Backstrom, who initially lost his number one job to Josh Harding, then when Harding had to leave the team to treat his medical issues, Backstrom's injury problems really bubbled up to the surface and have now cost him the remaining weeks in the regular season.

The 36-year old keeper only made 21 appearances in the Wild net this season, only winning 5 games for 10 points on the year.  He still has two years left on his current deal with the Wild and it looks like the plan is to get him 100% healthy, so he can resume his number one duties for the 2015 season.

ImplicationsIt was a gamble for Grant to take on Backstrom as his second goalie in the second Waiver Draft, a gamble that didn't pay off for him in the end.  Grant only managed to get 23 minutes of action out of the Finnish netminder and no points.

Grant hasn't improved since the Waiver Draft and it looks like a continued slide is more likely than any improvement now.

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