Niklas Backstrom won 37 games and held down a 2.33 GAA and .923 SP last season. (Getty Images)
Status: Minnesota Wild goaltender.
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 189 pounds
DOB: Feb. 13, 1978 In: Helsinki, Finland
Hockey Inspirations: "A lot of players. You watch hockey, just like the game and, for sure, a lot of different players. I didn't think just one player, it's more about the game, everything around it."
First Hockey Memory: "I think I was five years old. I was actually in the stands, watching my hometown team win the Finnish championship. And we see the players carrying the coach and the captain around during the celebration, so that's probably the first memory I have."
Hobbies/Leisure Activities: "Watch movies, read books, relax. In the summer you have time to do more – fishing, outdoors, tennis, soccer."
Nicknames: "It's Nik or Backs."
Favorite Movies: "It depends. I like comedies, sometimes action. I don't have one movie. Lord Of The Rings was great."
All-Time Favorite TV Shows: "There's a lot, like Entourage, Heroes, Friends for sure."
Musical Tastes: "Metallica is one. U2. Bruce Springsteen."
Last Book Read: "Actually, it's a Finnish book. I finished it last week."
Pre-game Feeling: "Try to clear your mind. Try to be ready and just enjoy."
Favorite Meal: "Sushi."
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "Strawberry."
First Job: "Cleaning a warehouse."
First Car: "Nissan Micra."
Current Car: "Chevrolet Tahoe."
Greatest Sports Moments: "We had a great team back home in Finland, won a couple of championships. Then I had a chance to be a part of the Finnish Olympic team in Torino, Italy in 2006. So that was a great feeling, too."
Favorite Arena(s) To Play: "I like to play back home in Minnesota, that's a great place. But on the road I like to play in Montreal, that's a great city to play hockey in."
Closest Hockey Friend(s): "A lot of different. Your teammates, it's like a second family. For a hockey player it's good, you go to a new city, you go to a new team, you have your family right there when you get your teammates. So a lot of different from here and back home."
Funniest Players Encountered: "(Andrew) Brunette. He's laughing all the time and never quiet, so he's a good teammate."
Toughest Competitors Encountered: "I think all the players in the National League. I don't think you get here if you're not a good competitor. You need to work hard to be able to play here. You need to be a good player to play here. So I think all the players are good competitors."
Last Vacation: "Rome."
Favorite Sports Outside Hockey: "Soccer."
Personality Qualities Most Admired: "For sure, honesty. I like people to be honest. And you appreciate the people who work hard and do their job really good."
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