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Wild shut down Backstrom over abdominal injury


The Minnesota Wild have shut down backup goalie Niklas Backstrom over a recurring abdominal injury.

The Star Tribune reports Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher made the announcement after announcing the trade to acquire Ilya Bryzgalov from the Edmonton Oilers, on Tuesday afternoon.

Backstrom has not seen game action since Jan. 30. He hasn't started a game since Jan. 11., according to 1500 ESPN. He has struggled with inconsistent play and dealt with the abdominal injury after signing a three-year, $10.25 million contract in the offseason.

The Pioneer Press reports the trade also likely signals the end of Josh Harding's season. He has been on injured reserve since late December after taking time off to adjust medication to treat multiple sclerosis.

Even after the changes Tuesday, Darcy Kuemper is expected to remain as the Wild's starting goaltender.

Wild Coach Mike Yeo told reporters, "We've said all along with Kuemps, we're going to take it day-to-day. He's a young kid. With that said, there's no question that he's done enough that we're going to keep giving him opportunity to get out there and show what he's done."

The Wild are 9-2-2 in their last 13 games and they have won five in a row. Kuemper, who has played in 15 straight games for the Wild, is 11-2-2 with a .202 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage.

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