NHL

Wild sign Backstrom to 4-year, $24 million contract extension

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TSN.ca Staff
3/3/2009 1:35:59 PM
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The Minnesota Wild have locked up a big piece of their franchise as they have signed goaltender Niklas Backstrom to a four-year contract extension.

The deal is worth $6 million per season and ends all speculation that the Finnish netminder would be on the move at the NHL's Trade Deadline on Wednesday.

"My goal was to stay here and I'm really happy its possible," Backstrom told reporters Tuesday prior to the Wild's game against the Vancouver Canucks. "It's sort of like a second dream come true after you got a shot to play in the NHL.

"Now I have a chance to stay here for years to come."

In three seasons with the Wild, Backstrom sports a 84-39-18 record with a 2.19 goals against average and .924 save percentage.

He was awarded the Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award (Best save percentage) and the William M. Jennings Trophy (Lowest goals-against) in the 2006-07 season.

"Nik is one of the most reliable players and people on our team, and that combination enables winning," Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said in a statement.  "A snapshot of Nik's three NHL seasons shows a staggering run of success.

"But to see that whole picture unfold daily, we have not been surprised.  Instead, we are proud of what he has accomplished, and we are excited for what he will."

Backstrom was a member of Finland's silver medal team at the 2006 Winter Olympics and Finland's bronze medal team at the 2006 IIHF World Hockey Championships, but did not see action in either tournament. He appeared in five games with Finland at the 2005 and 2008 IIHF World Hockey Championships.

Niklas Backstrom (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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