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Wild Have No Plans To Trade Niklas Backstrom, Want Tandem In Goal

When the Minnesota Wild came to terms on a three-year contract extension with backup goaltender Josh Harding on Tuesday afternoon, it took a mere moments for some to question whether this meant the end of incumbent starter Niklas Backstrom's tenure. Considering that the Wild have made it clear that they plan to be active in this year's free agent market, its not outlandish to think that the team may want to relieve themselves of the $6 million cap hit Backstrom is set to take up in 2012-13.

Before that kind of speculation could get out of hand, Minnesota's general manager Chuck Fletcher quickly put the thought to rest.

Via ESPN:

"Not at all," Wild GM Chuck Fletcher told ESPN.com. "We believe we need a strong one-two punch in goal. We've got that with Josh and Nik. We have no interest in disrupting that. You look around the league and you see the importance of having depth in goal. That's what we want."

Backstrom has one year remaining on a four-year, $24 million contract he signed prior to the 2009-10 season.

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Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.