Niklas Backstrom Wants to Play, Willing to be Traded

Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom’s agent Jay Grossman says the veteran netminder is willing to be traded, according to Sportsnet’s Damien Cox.

His agent, Jay Grossman, confirmed that Backstrom is healthy and wants to play, and will consider options if the Wild want to move him.

At a reasonable $3.4 million this season in the final year of his contract, Backstrom may be a viable option for some team.

The 37-year-old is the third wheel in Minnesota behind Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper. Though he put up an impressive performance, looking healthy as ever, during the preseason, he has yet to touch the ice during the regular season and isn’t likely to, this side of an injury.

Backstrom was considered a candidate for a buyout over the summer, but, for the second offseason in a row, had summer surgery. This time it was his elbow, while the summer before it was a hernia.

No doubt the Wild would eat some of his salary in a trade to free up cap space and a roster spot, but though Cox thinks this is a reasonable price, we’re looking at $3.4 million for an aging goaltender who posted an .886 even strength save percentage and a .884 adjusted save percentage.

Both of those were the worst marks in the NHL last season among goaltenders who played at least 11 games.

One thing seems sure, that both the Wild and Backstrom, who has a no movement clause and can’t be sent to the AHL, would welcome the change of scenery, despite the fact that the undrafted netminder has not played for any other franchise in his career.

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