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Jose Theodore signed to replace Josh Harding

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Per TSN: Jose Theodore has signed a 1 year, $1.1M deal with the Minnesota Wild. He will serve as the teams top backup behind Niklas Backstrom after the season ending knee injury to Josh Harding.

Theodore served in a dual goaltender role last season with the Washington Capitals, along with Seymon Varlamov.

Montreal radio station CKAC is reporting that the Wild have signed goaltender Jose Theodore to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.

The 33-year old Theodore posted a 30-7-7 record with a 2.81 goals against average and a .911 save percentage in 47 games with the Washington Capitals last season. - TSN

I have to say, I'm not quite stunned, as there have been whispers about this since Harding toppled in St. Louis. That said, I'm surprised. I thought having Matt Hackett as the #1 guy in Houston with Anton Khudobin backing up Backstrom would have been sufficient this season. I thought it would be good for Hackett to get the minutes in the AHL and get Khudobin 15-20 games with the big club. Maybe now both Hackett and Khudobin will get 35 or so games in Houston or Hackett will head to the ECHL to get starter minutes? Initially I'm confused by this move.

But ...

For $1.1M, and a tiny additional cap hit (insurance will cover most of the salary, and the Wild will LTIR Harding) the Wild get someone who can step in and spell Backstrom, which is the most important thing after all. We aren't looking for Theodore to be a savior, just someone who can adequately step in when necessary. Look at his numbers, he can be a competent replacement in small stretches, and he won't lose precious development time (unlike Khudobin or Hackett) by sitting on the bench. He's a cheaper backup than Leighton and will likely outperform them, based upon past history.

Besides, the problem in Minnesota isn't the goaltending anyway, it's the play of the defensemen. If that solidifies, the Wild will be fine with either guy.