I have a few more details on how the Wild ended up landing Niklas Backstrom up at Globe on Hockey today, including the tidbit that Manny Fernandez was on the trade block long before he was ever salary dumped to Boston in 2007. It's hard to believe, too, that they thought they had their No. 1 in Josh Harding more than three years ago, and he's still muddling along as a backup.
Who is and isn't waiver eligible has become a big deal under this new CBA, and it's interesting how Minnesota seemingly found a bit of a workaround to the three goalie problem we've seen crop up over and over postlockout. I think we'd see this happen a lot more if European goalies were more willing to play in the minors in order to earn a shot at the NHL.
Talking to Backstrom earlier this week, you got the sense he had always wanted that NHL shot and just never got it. He also said he didn't feel he was a late bloomer, given he was one of the top netminders in Finland at junior age, but that 10 years ago, there just weren't as many opportunities for European goalies. (Although Kiprusoff, Toskala, etc. were drafted.)
Top goaltenders postlockout (by save percentage)