STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild have agreed to a new multi-year contract with their long-time starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom. Full terms have yet to be released, but Russo reports the annual average cap hit is believed under $4 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wild owner Craig Leipold and GM Chuck Fletcher stated recently their wish to re-sign Backstrom, but they were in the bidding for Jonathan Bernier before the Kings shipped him to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and they even reportedly “kicked the tires” on Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury.
Getting Backstrom to agree to a pay cut (from $6 million per season) is significant, but also reflects the 35-year-old desire to remain with the only NHL team he’s ever played for. Given the lack of suitable options in this summer’s free agent and trade markets, it makes sense to stick with Backstrom.
**UPDATE**Backstrom’s new contract is for three years, $10.25 million, for an annual cap hit of $3.417 million.