Wild re-sign Backtrom and Rangers claim Avery

Posted by Richard Pollock in Minnesota Wild,New York Rangers on March 3, 2009 — No Comments

From TSN:

The Minnesota Wild have locked up a big piece of their franchise as they have signed goaltender Niklas Backstrom to a four-year contract extension.

The deal is worth $6 million per season and ends all speculation that the Finnish netminder would be on the move at the NHL’s Trade Deadline on Wednesday.

Read the entire story here.

All the speculation that the Wild loves Josh Harding and saw him as the replacement for Niklas Backstrom after this season can be put to bed.  Backstrom has signed a $24 million contract with the Wild and will be a cornerstone in the net for years to come.  As much as there were rumors that he may be dealt, it appeared Backstrom was always going to remain with the Wild.  While some question his worth, considering Minnesota’s defensive style and propensity to sometime inflate goaltender statistics, Backstrom has proven this season just how important he is to the Wild’s cause.  Coach Jacques Lemaire has played him more than last season and many people would say he is the reason the Wild still has a legitimate shot at a playoff spot.  I like this contract for both the team and the player.

Now the Avery situation….

From TSN:

He’s baaaack!

As expected, the New York Rangers claimed Sean Avery on re-entry waivers today and the super pest is back in the NHL.

The Rangers are responsible for half of Avery’s remaining contract – another three years with an annual cap hit of $3.875 million. The Dallas Stars are responsible for the other half.

Read the entire story here.

I am not going to change my tune now.  I don’t see the point of taking Avery on, even at that salary.  To me, the biggest risk is the length of his current deal.  He has three more seasons after 2008/09 and has never proven that he can stay in a place for a long period of time without alienating his teammates.

His relationship with John Tortorella should be entertaining, but I don’t see how his skills help a team that is in dire need of goal scoring forwards and better defensemen.