Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Backstrom agrees to multi-year deal

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news, Wild player moves Updated: June 24, 2013 - 1:03 PM

The Wild has agreed to terms with its winningest goalie in franchise history.

Niklas Backstrom has agreed to a three-year deal worth $10.25 million ($3.42 million).

Backstrom, the Wild's goalie of seven years, won 24 games last year before sustaining a sports hernia before the playoffs. He has won 184 games.

Backstrom, 35, wanted term -- at least 3 years -- and he got it. The Wild wanted to make certain it came in less than $4 million -- what he probably would have gotten on the open market -- and it got that.

Backstrom loves Minnesota and wanted badly to return. The Wild maintained its priority was to sign Backstrom. The only options for a No. 1 goaltender would have been the trade market.

With limited cap space, the only true potential No. 1 if he gets to free agency is Mike Smith, and he's looking for a big payday.

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