Harding, meanwhile, is seven years younger than Backstrom, making a bargain basement salary (and likely to again when he re-signs this summer) and has posted excellent numbers in spot duty this season.
Minnesota's money would be better spent elsewhere than on keeping Backstrom, and the Wild's silence on the issue leads me to believe they think the same. It'll be interesting to see how he performs elsewhere — and what sort of contract he gets to do so.
Given how well backups have performed this season, you have to wonder if the Red Wings' strategy to spend little on their 'tenders makes the most sense in a cap system. Other than the truly elite, goalies are simply too inconsistent to invest big dollars in them long term, and there are already some real ugly contracts out there.