Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom suffered a lower body injury just before Game 1 of the team’s first-round series of the NHL Playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks during pre-game warm ups. Backstrom missed the remainder of the series while Josh Harding did an admirable job, but now that the Blackhawks have eliminated the Minnesota Wild from the postseason, we are learning the exact extent of Backstrom’s injury.
According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, Backstrom missed the series with a sports hernia that will require surgery.
Niklas Backstrom told me he missed the series with a sports hernia; will need surgery #mnwild
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) May 10, 2013
The 35-year-old netminder is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, so it is very possible that his time with the Wild has come to an end.
It would not be a surprise to see the Wild look for Harding to step up again next season after starting all five of the games this postseason or perhaps they could add have a much bigger role for 23-year-old Darcy Kuemper.