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Off The Market (Updated 6/11/07)

SoldScratch Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom off the Panthers wish list as the 29-year-old Helsinki native signed a multi-year deal to stick it out with the Wild.

The Panthers are said to be shopping for a new No. 1 goalie, and Backstrom was in their sights. I'm hearing the Panthers are going to make a push for Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, but secretly hope the newly minted Stanley Cup champion re-signs with the Ducks before he hits the market so as not to seriouly get involved in the expected bidding war.

With Backstrom resigned, the Wild may look at dealing off Manny Fernandez and the two years, $8.6-plus million that comes with him. Florida is also expected to look to San Jose and try and snag Vesa Toskala. Florida could also look for a European goalie, or just bring back Ed Belfour and either Craig Anderson or Alex Auld for another season.

From what I'm hearing, the Panthers don't want to commit the $6-plus million per year it's likely going to take to get Giguere. The Panthers -- as are many teams -- are expecting Giguere to resign with the Ducks anyway, making the courtship of him moot.

As far as what was written here about the Panthers entering the final year of revenue sharing, well, that wasn't factually correct. The Panthers can get revenue sharing for the entire six-year run of the current CBA if they meet certain conditions, I'm told, but they would like to get out from under the revenue sharing umbrella by jumping into the second tier of the league in revenues (the bottom 10 teams in the league receive money from the top 10 teams while the middle 10 don't receive nor contribute.)

That said, I still don't see the Panthers having a payroll at the cap ceiling this year -- no matter where that ceiling is.

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