If you take a look around the NHL trying to figure out who will be the best teams next season, there are a couple of teams that come to mind right away. I think that one of those teams could be the Minnesota Wild. Minnesota has two superstars in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, but need to figure out their goalie situation. Niklas Backstrom is a free agent and it would be best for the team to just re-sign him and put him back between the pipes.
Minnesota was definitely on an upswing as the season concluded. I have to believe that it had a lot to do with Parise and Suter along with Backstrom. He was playing solidly as the season wound down and if he doesn’t get hurt before Game 1 of the playoffs, who knows what would have happened. Backstrom was 24-15-3 with a 2.48 goals against average this season and the injury had a lot to do with how quickly the Wild went down.
A healthy Backstrom may have been able to extend that series to seven games or even an upset of the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wild will continue to come together as a team behind Parise and Suter and should be considered a Stanley Cup threat by next season. The only way that will happen though in my opinion is if Backstrom is back.
There aren’t very many difference-making goalies on the market this offseason. The experience that Backstrom can bring should be a major factor in this decision. Minnesota should get this done as soon as possible.