Niklas Backstrom G MIN 2 months ago

The agent for Backstrom (elbow) acknowledged that his client likely won't be ready to play at the start of training camp in September, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Backstrom underwent surgery in May to address nerve damage in his right elbow, an injury that was so severe that it prevented him from moving two of his fingers during the Wild's first-round series against the Blackhawks. Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper had surpassed Backstrom as the Wild's two preferred goalies by that point, which likely would have made the 37-year-old a buyout candidate for the team had he been back to full health this summer. Instead, it looks like the Wild will have to wait until the start of the season to make a decision on Backstrom, with his placement on the team's long-term injured reserve list seemingly the most likely outcome. Regardless of what the Wild end up doing with Backstrom, don't expect him to see the ice with the parent club next season barring an injury to one of the top two netminders on the depth chart.

Niklas Backstrom G MIN 3 months ago

Backstrom underwent elbow surgery after the season, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

The Wild were considering buying Backstrom's contract out at some point this offseason, as the 37-year-old goaltender has largely outlived his usefulness for the organization at this point in his career. However, this latest development may throw a wrench in those plans, as injured players cannot be bought out unless cleared by team physicians. Minnesota will hope that Backstrom is healthy enough to be cleared before the June 30 deadline, however, if he's not, the team will likely have to keep the aging goaltender on the roster for yet another season.

Niklas Backstrom G MIN 4 months ago

Backstrom could have his contract bought out by the Wild this summer, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Backstrom is a long-time Wild icon as the franchise record holder in wins (194) and games (409), but he's outlived his usefulness for the organization at this point. The 37-year-old's $3.4 million cap hit forced the Wild to carry three goalies for much of the season, with Backstrom not seeing any appearances after Jan. 13 due to the outstanding play of Devan Dubnyk. The Wild plan to re-sign Dubnyk in the offseason and have another developmental option in Darcy Kuemper under contract for 2015-16, offering little incentive for the team to keep Backstrom around and eat up a roster spot. The team will probably first attempt to explore trading Backstrom, but given his age, large cap number, and sub-.900 save percentage over the last two seasons, it's more likely the Wild will be forced to unceremoniously release him.

Niklas Backstrom G MIN 5 months ago

Backstrom hasn't appeared in a game for the Wild since Jan. 13.

With the Wild hardly secure in their position at the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff picture, coach Mike Yeo has ridden No. 1 netminder Devan Dubnyk with a heavy hand. Dubnyk has made 29 consecutive starts in net and has been dominant in most of those outings, creating little opportunity for Darcy Kuemper or Backstrom to see duty. Even if Yeo does decide to rest Dubnyk one of these days, the starting nod would more than likely go to the younger Kuemper, who fared better than Backstrom prior to Dubnyk's acquisition in January. It wouldn't be surprising if Backstrom didn't see a single appearance -- even in relief -- over the remainder of the season.

Niklas Backstrom G MIN 6 months ago

Backstrom is feeling ill and will not practice Tuesday, Mike Vogel of reports.

Backstrom will likely just be day-to-day ahead of Wednesday's matchup with the Rangers. He stuck around team facilities to receive treatment from the training staff, indicating that the illness isn't all that serious.

Niklas Backstrom G MIN 7 months ago

Backstrom's new teammate, Devan Dubnyk will start Thursday's game against the Sabres.

Backstrom had previously been on track to start the contest, but the Wild have instead elected to roll with Dubnyk on Thursday, as the team tries to snap out of an 0-5-1 slide.

Niklas Backstrom G MIN 7 months ago

Backstrom gave up six goals on 35 shots in Monday's 7-2 loss to Pittsburgh. He was replaced in the third period by John Curry. Despite the poor outing, head coach Mike Yeo said Backstrom will start Thursday against Buffalo, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Backstrom didn't get much help from the defense in front of him, but he didn't respond well and missed some save chances. With Darcy Kuemper out with a lower body injury, Josh Harding out indifinetely with a multiple sclerosis setback and Yeo not having much confidence in Curry, it looks like Backstrom will get several more starts to work his way out of a slump (three or more goals allowed in ten consecutive starts).

Niklas Backstrom G MIN 7 months ago

Backstrom will get the start in net Tuesday against the Penguins.

With Darcy Kuemper still recovering from a lower body injury, Backstrom will get the start between the pipes for the fourth consecutive game Tuesday against Pittsburgh. Backstrom is 5-6-3 on the season with a 2.83 GAA and a .892 save percentage.

Niklas Backstrom G MIN 7 months ago

Backstrom allowed four goals on 35 shots in Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Blackhawks.

Backstrom has now allowed three or more goals in all four appearances, three starts, since starting goalie Darcy Kuemper went down with an injury, all of which were losses. The 36-year-old has been shaky all year and hasn't allowed two or fewer goals in any appearance since Dec. 5. With a 2.83 GAA and .892 save percentage, Backstrom won't be of much value to most fantasy teams even if Kuemper is out for an extended period of time.

Niklas Backstrom G MIN 8 months ago

Backstrom will start in net against Chicago on Sunday, Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press reports.

Backstrom is coming off a 3-1 loss to the Predators on Saturday. He'll be looking for his sixth win of the season against the Blackhawks while carrying in a disappointing .893 save percentage.