Trade Niklas Backstrom

 

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In the immortal words of Denis Lemieux, "Trade me right ****ing now!"

James Mirtle discussed the concept of re-signing or letting Backstrom walk previously. At the time, I was definitely pro-signing him. However, as the team gets further and further mired in the chase for the last playoff spot, we look to Houston and see that there is nobody primed to come up and make a big impact, nor is the Wild's young talent performing anywhere near expectations.

Goaltending wins championships. However, with limited offensive talent, few prospects in the wings, and a system that seems to elevate defensive and goaltending stats, can the $7 million for which Backstrom is reportedly asking be better spect elsewhere? I mean, if Henrik Zetterberg is worth $6M/year and Alexander Ovechkin is worth $7M, do we really think that Backstrom is more valuable to the Wild than Josh Harding by that level of magnitude? Why not take the cap hit for Backstrom and use it to sign two or three actual offensive talents?

Of course, we first need to look at potential trading partners. The most obvious are Detroit, Washington or Chicago as a rent-a-player for the playoff run. All three of those teams are in dire need of goaltending help to push them through the Stanley Cup playoffs, and would have the cap space following a trade. However, who would be potentially coming back this way? Draft choices would be low because these teams are going to end up in the bottom 1/3 of the draft order. Detroit's talent is older than what we would want, and they're not likely to part with Franzen or Holmstrom. Chicago has young talent, but they've made their way this year because they have the right pieces in place on the offensive side of things. Maybe pairing Backstrom with Johnsson or Bouchard could get someone like Martin Havlat or Patrick Sharp, but that's unlikely, because then Chicago is without two of their top scorers. But it would be nice to get some mid 20s proven offensive talent on the roster.

Now, a guy like Backstrom would normally be tough to replace, but the Wild haven't had a problem with goaltenders stepping into the #1 spot and performing well. In fact, in limited exposure, Josh Harding actually has better numbers this year than Backstrom


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Niklas Backstrom 40 2332 23 15 2 3 85 2.19 1166 1081 .927 5


GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Josh Harding 10 497 1 5 1 1 18 2.17 253 235 .929 0

Yes, I understand that it's only 10 games, and for the most part Harding is an unknown commodity, but if you go back and read Mirtle's article on the Wild goaltending, every goalie the Wild have had has been able to jump in and perform well. Harding's time has come.

This is scary for many to think about, but this team needs a shot in the arm, the front office needs to take a stand. There are too many people underperforming their contracts around here, and it's time for some dead weight to be jettisoned along with the only tradable commodity the Wild have.

  • Who do you think the Wild can get for Backstrom?
  • What would your trade package entail?
  • With whom would you like to see them talk?
  • Would you even consider this at all?
  • How would you like to spend $7MM/year, a goaltender or a few forwards?

Players making more than $6 Million. Who here would you not rather have than Backstrom?

 

Dany Heatley LW Ottawa 10 million
Sidney Crosby C Pittsburgh 9 million
Alexander Ovechkin LW Washington 9 million
Miikka Kiprusoff G Calgary 8.5 million
Daniel Briere C Philadelphia 8 million
Scott Gomez C New York Rangers 8 million
Wade Redden D New York Rangers 8 million
Jason Spezza C Ottawa 8 million
Kimmo Timonen D Philadelphia 8 million
Thomas Vanek LW Buffalo 8 million
Brad Richards C Dallas 7.8 million
Henrik Lundqvist G New 7.75 million
Zdeno Chara D Boston 7.5 million
Marian Gaborik RW Minnesota 7.5 million
Ilya Kovalchuk LW Atlanta 7.5 million
Marian Hossa RW Detroit 7.45 million
Niklas Lidstrom D Detroit 7.45 million
Ryan Smyth LW Colorado 7.25 million
Joe Thornton C San Jose 7.2 million
Vincent Lecavalier C Tampa Bay 7.166 million
Brian Campbell D Chicago 7.14 million
Chris Drury C New York Rangers 7.1 million
Jarome Iginla RW Calgary 7 million
Roberto Luongo G Vancouver 7 million
Dion Phaneuf D Calgary 7 million
Michal Rozsival D New York Rangers 7 million
Lubomir Visnovsky D Edmonton 7 million
Nikolai Khabibulin G Chicago 6.75 million
Scott Niedermayer D Anaheim 6.75 million
Pavel Datsyuk C Detroit 6.7 million
Dan Boyle D San Jose 6.666 million
Ed Jovanovski D Phoenix 6.5 million
Rick Nash LW Columbus 6.5 million
Patrick Marleau LW San Jose 6.3 million
Chris Pronger D Anaheim 6.25 million
Sheldon Souray D Edmonton 6.25 million
Bryan McCabe D Florida 6.15 million
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