NHL free agency 2013: Niklas Backstrom nearing deal with Wild, according to assistant GM

USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild and pending-free agent Niklas Backstrom have been engaging in progressive negotiations. Assistant general manager Brent Flahr believes a deal could be reached soon.

The Minnesota Wild have been engaging in progressive talks with goaltender Niklas Backstrom, according to assistant general manager Brent Flahr as told to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Russo was filling in as a radio host on Minnesota sports radio station KFAN 1003 on Monday morning and had Flahr on as a guest interview. Flahr stated that manager Chuck Flecther had been engaging in talks with Backstrom and his representation about an extension, as the goaltender is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Apparently, those talks are positive enough that Flahr believes an agreement could be reached in the near future.

Both parties have previously expressed interest in coming to an agreement. In fact, Backstrom insinuated that he would be open to a team-friendly deal in order to sustain the relationship. The 35-year-old played out the final year of a four-year, $24 million contract in 2013 that carried an annual average value of $6 million against the salary cap.

The goaltending market is expected to have several options this summer. In the event that a deal can't be reached, both parties will likely have other opportunity. However, it appears that might not be an issue.

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