NHL: Minnesota Wild's Niklas Backstrom Gets Three-Year Extension

Goaltender Niklas Backstrom and the Minnesota Wild agreed to terms on a three-year contract on Monday.

Jun 24 2013, 7:47pm CDT | by

NHL: Minnesota Wild's Niklas Backstrom Gets Three-Year Extension
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Goaltender Niklas Backstrom and the Minnesota Wild agreed to terms on a three-year contract on Monday. 

Fox Sports North's Brian Hall says the agreement virtually locks up the 35-year-old veteran coming off a season in which he tied for the league lead with 24 wins. Backstrom was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 5 and expressed a desire to return to the NHL team he's played for.

Sports Illustrated says the value of the deal is worth $10.25 million. Minnesota general manager Chuck Fletcher said retaining their goaltender was the offseason's top priority. 

"It just made too much sense not to re-sign him.

"We're familiar with Nik. He's familiar with us. He's earned the trust of his teammates through his professionalism and his work ethic. Nobody's more prepared as a goaltender than Nik. I've never seen a goalie practice that hard, and you've got to give him a lot of credit. He's been a model of consistency. He just finds a way to win games year after year. At 35 years of age, I think in today's day and age the way athletes prepare, the way they train, there's no reason why he can't even play beyond this contract.

"Hopefully, this isn't the last contract he signs with us."

Backstrom was grateful and thankful to be back. 

"I don't think it has been a secret to anyone how much I've enjoyed playing for the Minnesota Wild and living in the 'State of Hockey.' So, for sure that was the team I was hoping for the chance to come back, and I'm really grateful and thankful that I can be back. It's a great place for me. It feels like home, so it's nice to be back."

In the end, all Backstrom wanted was to be happy

"It's business to do for me, but like I said, happiness is something that you can't buy with money. It's something in your heart and in your mind. So that's the most important thing for me, to be happy."

Backstrom is the Wild's all-time leader in victories with a 184-124-45 mark over 369 games since 2006. He has a 2.43 career GAA and .917 save percentage to to along with 28 shutouts. 

He underwent successful sports hernia surgery in May.  

 
 
 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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