SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.
– Niklas Backstrom
will represent the Minnesota Wild at the 2009 National Hockey League (NHL) All-Star Game, Sunday, Jan. 25 at Montreal’s Bell Centre the league announced today.
Backstrom, 30 (2/13/78), is 19-12-2 with a 2.14 goals against average (GAA), a .929 SV Pct. and five shutouts in 33 games this season. He ranks tied for first in the NHL in shutouts, fourth in wins, fifth in GAA and sixth in SV Pct. Backstrom established franchise records with 33 wins and 1,498 saves last season and tied the record for games played (58). Among goalies playing 100 or more games since the beginning of the 2006-07 season, he ranks first in the NHL in SV Pct. at .925, first in GAA at 2.16, tied for second in win % at .669 and fifth in shutouts with 14. Backstrom won the 2007 William M. Jennings Trophy with teammate Manny Fernandez as the tandem allowed a League-low 191 goals against. Backstrom also received the Bank of America Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award in 2007 as he recorded a league best .929 SV Pct. Minnesota signed the Helsinki, Finland-native as a free agent on June 1, 2006. He is 75-33-16 with a 2.16 GAA, a .925 SV Pct. and 14 shutouts in 132 career games with Minnesota.
Four Minnesota Wild players have represented the team in past NHL All-Star Games. Marian Gaborik became the first Wild player to participate in the contest in 2003. In 2004, Filip Kuba and Dwayne Roloson represented Minnesota at the NHL All-Star Game held at Saint Paul’s Xcel Energy Center. Brian Rolston appeared in the 2007 NHL All-Star Game and Gaborik made his second career NHL All-Star Game appearance in 2008.
The 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend in Montreal will celebrate the Montreal Canadiens’ Centennial season with live national broadcasts of the Honda/NHL SuperSkills® event on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 6:00 p.m., and the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 25 at 5:00 p.m. on VERSUS in the United States.