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NHL Rumors: Niklas Backstrom Injury Forces Wild Goalie To Stay In States

The NHL lockout looked like it was going to send Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom to play his hockey in Belarus this season, but the most recent reports indicate that likely won't be the case -- at least in the near future, anyway.

Backstrom has reportedly signed with Dynamo Minsk in Belarus, but the Pioneer Press reports that an ankle injury will keep him stateside for the time being.

Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who had planned to play in Belarus during the NHL lockout, will stay in Minnesota for now because of a minor ankle injury, he said via text message.

Backstrom apparently injured his ankle -- the one he didn't have surgery on after last season -- while participating in the Wild workouts since the lockout began.

For news on the Minnesota Wild, check out Hockey Wilderness. For news from around the NHL and more on the lockout, check out SB Nation's NHL hub.

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