In nine years of existence, the Minnesota Wild has had just 10 goaltenders start a game. That includes four that played a game last year. Goaltending has always been a strength for the young franchise, because it always featured an experienced and talented tandem.
Manny Fernandez and Dwayne Roloson. Fernandez and Niklas Backstrom
. Backstrom and Josh Harding
Today, the Wild's goaltending tandem looks formidable again. The Wild lost Harding to a devastating knee injury early in the preseason, but picked up the owner of a Hart and Vezina trophy, and the winner of 30 games in 47 appearances last year with Washington.
Jose Theodore agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Wild today, and will join the Houston Aeros training camp until the Wild returns from Finland. Anton Khudobin will serve as Nik Backstrom's backup while the team is in Europe.
"Jose's a veteran who's won 245 games in the NHL," said General Manager Chuck Fletcher in a hotel lobby in Helsinki. "We're fortunate he was still available. He makes us a deeper team and we have a terrific one-two punch again."
Theodore ranks sixth among active goalies in games played (518) and wins. His best year came in 2002 as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, when he went 30-24-10 with a .931 save percentage and a 2.11 goals against average, earning him the Hart and the Vezina.
Wild fans are no stranger to Theodore, who posted a 2.81 goals against average and a .911 save percentage last year. In 2008, he was brilliant in leading the Colorado Avalanche to a first round upset of Minnesota, which had won its first-ever Northwest Division title.