Jun 7, 2013, 4:15 PM EDT
For the Minnesota Wild, goaltending is the “No. 1 priority to address” this summer, general manager Chuck Fletcher told ESPN’s Craig Custance recently.
It’s not hard to see why. Niklas Backstrom is a 35-year-old pending unrestricted free agent that just had sports-hernia surgery. Josh Harding, 28, has two years left on his deal; however, he’s yet to prove he can be a full-time starter in the NHL, and his MS can’t be ignored either, as unfortunate as that may be. Darcy Kuemper and Johan Gustafsson are two young prospects, but for now that’s all they are.
Custance reports that “serious contract talks” have yet to start between Backstrom and the Wild.
“Right now, we’re just waiting for Minnesota to finish their meetings and go from there,” Backstrom’s agent, Jeff Kowall, told ESPN. “Our first step is to see what Minnesota’s plans are, and hopefully there’s something to be worked out.”
The Wild could also go the trade or free-agent route to find a new starter, though with the salary cap falling from $70.2 million or $64.3 million, they may have to look in the bargain bin. That, or first shed a hit like Dany Heatley‘s $7.5 million, whether via trade or buyout.
- Peverley asked to return to game following ‘cardiac event’ 4
- NHL postpones Blue Jackets-Stars game following Peverley’s collapse 10
- Peverley hospitalized, conscious after collapsing on Stars bench (Update) 11
- Sens’ Ceci won’t return after Weber’s shot lacerates his ear (Update) 6
- Gillis pleads his case: ‘We are enduring a challenging period’ 20
- Nolan gets a game for punching ‘unsuspecting’ Joensuu 27
- It doesn’t sound like 3-on-3 overtime is going to be a thing 38
- Blues finish night on top of NHL standings after shootout win 15
- Kings’ Nolan gets double-minor for punching Oilers’ Joensuu 54
- Extended overtime likely to be on agenda in GMs’ March meeting 42
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (70)
- Report: Flyers table ‘substantial offer’ for Kesler, also inquiring about Edler (59)