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.
- Bernier, Leafs agree on two-year, $8.3 million deal 20
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? 54
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 71
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 12
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 41
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 44
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 22
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (71)
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (71)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening (54)