Tuesday, March 12, 2013

2013 NHL Free Agents - Niklas Backstrom

Niklas Backstrom, who garnered a $6 million salary for the Minnesota Wild in the 2012-13 season, according to capgeek.com, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.  The Finnish netminder has spent his entire NHL career with the Wild, racking up 171 wins to-date.

He is currently having one of his better seasons, with a 2.30 GAA and 11 wins to go with a .914 save percentage as of this post.

Goalie Stats
Season Age Tm GP W L T/O GA SA SV SV% GAA SO MIN
2006-07 28 MIN 41 23 8 6 73 1028 955 .929 1.97 5 2227
2007-08 29 MIN 58 33 13 8 131 1629 1498 .920 2.31 4 3409
2008-09 30 MIN 71 37 24 8 159 2059 1900 .923 2.33 8 4088
2009-10 31 MIN 60 26 23 8 158 1632 1474 .903 2.72 2 3489
2010-11 32 MIN 51 22 23 5 132 1566 1434 .916 2.66 3 2978
2011-12 33 MIN 46 19 18 7 105 1299 1194 .919 2.43 4 2590
2012-13 34 MIN 19 11 6 2 42 490 448 .914 2.30 0 1095
Career 346 171 115 44 800 9703 8903 .918 2.41 26 19876
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/12/2013.

Outlook
Although the Wild got off to a rocky start, they have since steadied the ship and should be on-target to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.  Although the Wild don't have much room under the cap this year, they could have some wiggle room for next season with a few free agents coming due.  The Wild have a good option in net with Josh Harding, who has been shelved for part of this season for health reasons.  Backstrom has been solid for this organization and it's likely that the Wild would like to retain him.  Don't look for an increase on his $6 million annual salary given his age, the options in net, the reduced salary cap and the amount that Minnesota already has on the books for next season.

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