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Report: Wild, Backstrom close to deal (Update: done deal)

Jun 24, 2013, 1:16 PM EDT

Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild are close to signing veteran goalie Niklas Backstrom to a contract extension, according to the StarTribune’s Michael Russo.

Update: it’s a done deal, according to the Wild. Three years. No exact financials yet, but Russo reports it’s for less than $4 million per season.

Update 2: Russo reports the cap hit is $3.42 million.

Backstrom, who’s spent his entire seven-season NHL career with the Wild, went 24-15-3 in 2013 with a .909 save percentage; however, the 35-year-old missed the playoffs with a sports hernia that required surgery and it was speculated the club may bid adieu to the pending unrestricted free agent.

Minnesota was one of the bidders for Jonathan Bernier, and when Bernier went to Toronto, it was reported the Wild were in touch with Pittsburgh about Marc-Andre Fleury.

Backstrom is coming off a four-year, $24 million deal. It’s almost certain his cap hit will fall from that $6 million level.

According to Russo, Backstrom was looking for at least a three-year commitment.

  1. lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    I’m sure it’s not hard to look up but I’m curious to know what the difference between his stats were when the Suter/Brodin pairing was and wasn’t on the ice.

  2. wildsupporter - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:50 PM

    First off I’m a big Backstrom fan, I tend to like players who are loyal to a single team. But please correct me if I’m wrong but with him being 35 and wanting a 3 year deal, does that not make it a 35+ contract? Which means that his cap hit won’t come off even if he retires right? If that is true then the cap hit better be even lower cause he has had his fair share of injury problems. But I do believe he is/was the better option than Fleury or trading Kuemper+other prospects for Bernier.

    • sknut - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:26 PM

      You are correct in stating the 35+ rule but its only 3 years so unless something drastic happens the odds are pretty good he will play out the contract and the price seems fair for both sides. It’s good that they got this take care so they can move on to re-signing Cullen.

    • elvispocomo - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      As he’s 35 now, yes, his contract does become a 35+ deal. It does involve some risk now that his cap hit won’t drop off even if he retires, especially since there’s a question mark about how his play will be after surgery. As you say, we’ll have to see what his cap hit actually is before knowing just how much of a risk it is or if it’s a good deal.

      I would have stayed with Backstrom as well (over moving assets, especially for Fleury) depending on what the deals ends up being.

      • wildsupporter - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        thanks guys for clearing it up for me!

  3. tlow97 - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM


  4. tmathio - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    I think this is a great deal for the Wild and Backstrom. Backstrom gets to stay where he’s played his whole career and the Wild get a solid goalie at a reasonable hit (around 3.25 mill) Now the Wild have room to resign Cullen and maybe make a move in free agency.

    • rsmaggiemae - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      Backstrom in my opinion is just a so-so goalie he is ok, but not great in shoot outs.
      i wish the Wild would have Bernier also….
      This Heatly thing stinks now that he is still on the mend, really puts the wild in a bind.
      I dont think cullen will be back as he is asking for the same amount of dollars and years and at 37 yrs old is he really, really worth it???
      Bouchard is gone at 4,5 mil a year which is good as he never got over the concussion issue when he played he was always fearful of getting hit again.
      i was able to go to the 5th game in chgo and it was great, I wish the fans here were as
      loud and boisterous as in chgo. I wish the wild would get different music when they score a goal and different music at faceoffs etc… just hate thier choices in the songs
      chgo has great songs for each occasion thats what get the crowd going…its so much dfiffernt there in chgo compared to mpls…. went in 2010 also so have been to 2 cup playoff games. as I will probably be dead by the time the wild would win the cup.
      Have been promised a cup for almost 40 years with the N Stars and now the Wild./
      It seems the same old story, we have a good team, we have to gel, we have new young players etc…
      did anyone whatching the game tonite hear what bolland had to say about the team that it was the coach and the coaching staff that makes the team keep doing more and more and motiviates them to play thier best….does this happen with the wild staff???

  5. northstarnic - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Ugh. At least we didn’t sign Fleury.

  6. purpleguy - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    If they want to sign Cullen and their RFA’s, they’ll have to amnesty/buy-out Gilbert (since they can’t with Heatley) — and that’s assuming Cullen takes a hometown discount, as he’s seeking the same years and price range Backy got. Once they do that, they’ll be capped out, meaning we’re stuck with the same team in 2013-14.

    • lordfletcher - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      Stuck isn’t the best way to describe it.

      Now have pominville…

      Suter will be playing at Norris level. (Old Norris / when dman mattered)

      zucker / coyle and Brodin will be soooo much better. Scary to think that Brodin can develop into more.

      The Wild will compete if healthy.

  7. elvispocomo - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Word is (from Russo) now that Backstrom’s cap hit is 3.42M (3 years, $10.25M).

  8. lordfletcher - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    I expect backs to be the starter for the next two years before they transition Darcy into that role. Backs will be a great mentor for kuemper and this deal won’t stress him into having pressure being the #1 too soon. Between Darcy’s contract and backs, they’ll have less than $5 million invested in a solid goal tending tandem for the next 3 years.

    Gilbert will be bought out and setoguchi / clutter will be pushed for assets near the draft. Wouldn’t be shocked to see Fletcher make a splash to clear cap and serviceable skaters for draft picks.

    Vanek next year and lord Stanley in 2015. Boom! #dreambig

  9. 950003cups - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    More wasted money on guys who suck.

    • williplett - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:31 AM

      Man, are you a major league crybaby. Almost a year later and you can’t get over it? Isn’t there a few stories about the Devil’s shaky financial situation that you could be posting on instead of whining about ZP and bashing the team he chose over your own?

  10. tmathio - Jun 24, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Backstrom tied for the league lead in wins he definitely does not suck. I think any team would take him for a 2.5 million hit this year

  11. rebekah319 - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Glad he is staying here and he does not suck at all decent enough to have been playing here all his career. Any team would have been lucky enough to get him so I am just glad he is here for a while!

  12. ashtongronholz8 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    Heck yeah this is great for us Minnesotans . Decent price, Cullen will want to resign at a fairly low price ( he will finish his career here this coming from him) and now to get rid of Heatley. As I said before last year started, the shortened season will not benefit us and we won’t win the cup. But the next couple years we will be a force. We have some of the best prospects in the game and although the Parise/ suter changes receives a lot of scrutiny it was a great signing. Can’t wait for the next couple years in the state of hockey!

  13. porkchopexpress1969 - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    Didn’t the Wild just last week throw Backstrom under the buss and now they signed him?

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