The Columbus Blue Jackets have named Niklas Backstrom the club's goaltending coach, team general manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. Backstrom has served as the organization's European goaltending coach for the past four seasons after joining the Blue Jackets in July 2019.

Backstrom, 45, posted a 196-144-50 record with a 2.49 goals-against average (GAA), .914 save percentage (SV%) and 28 shutouts in 413 games over 10 NHL seasons with the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames from 2006-16. He captured the William Jennings Trophy in his first year in 2006-07 after leading the league in GAA (1.97) and SV% (.929). He was a Vezina Trophy finalist and appeared in the All-Star Game in 2008-09 when he went 37-24-8 with a 2.33 GAA, .923 SV% and career-high eight shutouts. He led the NHL in wins in 2012-13 with a 24-15-3 mark, 2.48 GAA, .909 SV% and two shutouts in 42 games.

Backstrom retired following the 2018-19 campaign after a 21-year playing career across several leagues, including the NHL, SHL (Sweden) and Liiga (Finland). He captured the Urpo Ylonen Award with Karpat as Liiga's best goaltender in 2003-04 and 2004-05 and also was named the Finnish Player of the Year in 2004-05.

The Helsinki, Finland native finished his playing career with HIFK and Tappara in the Liiga. He represented Finland in numerous international tournaments, including the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Games in which he captured silver and bronze medals, respectively. He also played at the IIHF World Championships in 2005 and 2008 (bronze medal) and help Finland win the gold medal at the 1998 IIHF World Junior Championships.

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