Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Wild bring Backstrom back

Well, the Minnesota Wild anted up and gave 29-year-old rookie 'tender Niklas Backstrom a shiny new deal today, something that may mean the end for Manny Fernandez in St. Paul.

Or at least that would make sense — given Josh Harding is still waiting in the wings. Then again, with the cap going up next season, perhaps it's not all that loony to carry two veteran netminders who are on reasonable contracts for the next two seasons.

(The alternate title for this post was: 'Backstrom's back, alright!')

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At 5:46 p.m., June 07, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Readers have been disagreeing with me on this, but in my mind, Backstrom was the toughest goalie for the Ducks to score against these playoffs. Sure they nearly got swept, but Backstrom was a wall back there. I think it's a great signing for Minny and for Backstrom, as the team and the goalie complement each other well.

At 5:55 p.m., June 07, 2007, Blogger El Brucio said...

This signing will look silly when Harding takes over, but whatever.

In all seriousness, they better trade one of them. As a Harding fan, it's tough to see him keep getting held back despite obviously being ready.

At 6:00 p.m., June 07, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Harding was unreal in the WHL back when I was a regular watcher, so you've got no argument from me.

I'm betting Fernandez is shipped off to Phoenix/Boston/Columbus in the near future.

At 10:44 p.m., June 07, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Backstrom was clearly the better choice for the Wild. The question is whether they're going to be able to unload Fernandez. Even if the cap goes up, the wild can't have both of them around. Among other reasons, the situation has left Manny Fernandez very upset. Whether he's justified or not, it isn't a good idea for the Wild to have a backup goalie who would be as much of a pain in the ass as Fernandez would be if he's back.

The question, of course, is what it will take to trade him. Even though there are teams out there with goalie issues, my guess is that any trade of Fernandez is going to be complex enough that it isn't immediately apparent that Doug Riseborough had to give away something else of value in order to get someone to take Manny's contract.

At 9:06 a.m., June 08, 2007, Blogger Chemmy said...

Fernandez for Raycroft straight up.

At 10:16 a.m., June 08, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

We'll even throw in Ian White!


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