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Noon Number (November 18th): 92.59%

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In today's Noon Number, I take a look at some of the veteran back-up goalie options that are currently on the market

Doug Pensinger

The word on the street is that Niklas Backstrom has sustained a concussion from the head-shot he received courtesy of Nazem Kadri. With young goalies Darcy Kuemper and Johan Gustafsson better off developing in Iowa rather than sitting on the bench in Minnesota, the Wild may need a veteran back-up who can take some of the work load off Harding's shoulders. It's important to remember that there are big question marks regarding Harding's long-term health, so whoever is picked-up to be back-up could suddenly find themselves in the starter's job if Harding's MS began to affect him again.

After trawling through data about all the NHL goalies who have played in the last 3-4 years, I found that most are either in Europe, in the AHL or retired. In the end, I came-up with 4 UFA options the Wild could look at.

Below I have listed the 4 goalies, along with Harding and Backstrom (just for comparisons sake) along with their basic information, their 5v5 performance over a 7-year sample size, and then over a 3-year sample size.

Basic Info

2007-2013 (5v5)

2011-2013 (5v5)

Name

Age

Year Drafted

TOI

SA20

Sv%

TOI

SA20

Sv%

JOSE THEODORE

37

1994

10982:32

9.637

92.12%

2970:39

9.897

92.59%

JOHAN HEDBERG

40

1994

8064:18

9.451

91.37%

2090:11

8.315

91.48%

BRENT JOHNSON

36

1995

4023:32

9.410

91.44%

640:04

8.843

88.69%

RICK DIPIETRO

32

2000

4798:41

9.453

90.78%

425:51

9.581

88.24%

NIK BACKSTROM

35

-

14321:04

9.703

92.50%

3842:14

9.489

92.48%

JOSH HARDING

29

2002

4325:11

10.464

91.87%

1565:04

10.402

91.65%

*SA20: Shots against per 20 minutes TOI

  • Rick DiPietro and his "good buddy" Brent Johnson have both deteriorated a lot in the last 3 years and haven't played enough in the NHL to be considered. I wouldn't trust either of them to play a reasonable amount of games for the Wild, especially if Harding was suddenly put on IR and they were thrust into the starter's job.
  • Johan Hedberg spent a long time as Marty Brodeur's back-up, and, I've gotta say, his numbers are pretty good. The only knock against him is he is 40 years old, so the Wild would have to be 100% certain that he is physically up to the job before signing him.
*

So, I think there isn't much of a decision to be made here. Theodore is the best option, he clearly wants the job, and I imagine he would cost very little. He can come in as back-up to Harding and will take some pressure off and allow Harding to catch a break in back-to-back games and such. Kuemper and Gustafsson are allowed to continue splitting time in the AHL and devleoping slowly rather than getting thrown in at the deep end.

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