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Entries with the tag: nicklas backstrom

Nicklas Backstrom Re-Signs With The Washington Capitals

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed center Nicklas Backstrom to a five-year, $46 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Backstrom’s contract will carry an average annual value of $9.2 million.

Backstrom, 32, is the all-time franchise leader in assists (668) and one of just two players to record at least 900 points with the Capitals (Backstrom: 908; Alex Ovechkin: 1,255), reaching the mark on Dec. 20, 2019 against the New Jersey Devils. Backstrom is the only active player in the NHL that has recorded at least 50 assists in six consecutive seasons. Last season, he became the 26th player in NHL history and one of two active players (Joe Thornton, San Jose) to accomplish this feat. Of the 25 other players to reach this mark, 23 are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The other two, Thornton and Henrik Sedin, are not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame. Additionally, Backstrom is the only player in the NHL to record at least 20 goals and 50 assists in the last four consecutive seasons. Backstrom’s 0.69 assists per game mark since 2014-15 are tied for fourth in the NHL among players with at least 100 games played during that span. In addition, his 668 career assists rank fourth among active players.

Backstrom has recorded 35 points (9g, 26a) in 39 games this season. His 52.1 shot attempt percentage at five-on-five (564 shot attempts for, 517 shot attempts against) ranks first among Capitals forwards with at least 13 minutes per game at five-on-five.

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Nicklas Backstrom Negotiating His Next Contract

from Samantha Pell of The Washington Post,

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom, who is in the final year of a 10-year, $67 million contract, confirmed Monday that he is negotiating his next deal on his own.

Putting trust in himself and the Capitals organization, Backstrom parted ways with his agent, Mark Levine, just before the season started. Backstrom said he ideally wanted to get a deal done before the season, but he is in continuing talks with Washington’s front office.

“I feel like I’ve been here long enough and I feel like I’ve seen everything, and I don’t think it’s anything to hide,” said Backstrom, who was drafted by the Capitals with the No. 4 pick in 2006 and made his NHL debut in 2007. “We will see what happens here moving forward. We will see what happens. I just believed that I wanted to do this myself. I feel like I have a good enough relationship with the organization that we can be honest and talk, and that is how it is.”


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Nicklas Backstrom In His Environment

from Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post,

In the NHL, he’s often been an afterthought — named to the All-Star Game just once and never winning any major individual award. On the Capitals, his subtle playmaking is overshadowed by the big hits and screaming shots of longtime teammate Alex Ovechkin.

But outside Gavlerinken Arena, a group of teenagers stops to gawk as Backstrom, hiding behind heavily tinted sunglasses, takes the bike around back to avoid making a grand entrance.

“I guess you’ve never seen me like this before,” he says.

Backstrom is Washington’s second-most popular hockey player, but his preference to stay out of the spotlight for the past 11 years has made him something of an enigma among Capitals fans. They defend his play as underrated and his passing as elite, and they wish he’d get more recognition. He’s the other half of so many Ovechkin goals — and the other face of the franchise. And yet throughout his time in Washington, Backstrom has kept his private life very much private.

The arena’s back door is open, and he’ll carry the Stanley Cup through it in two days. But first Backstrom takes a seat in the upper bowl and starts to unfurl the origin story of his rise to silent stardom.

much more

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Afternoon Line- Mike Babcock On Nicklas Backstrom

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GIF- Nicklas Backstrom Gets Four Minutes For High-Sticking

As the GIF shows, it was not his stick. Then five seconds later, another Caps penalty.

Caps overcame the calls with some help from the Flyers.

04:25 Washington Nicklas Backstrom - High-sticking - 4 minutes
04:30 Washington Matt Niskanen - Hooking - 2 minutes
06:55 Philadelphia Ryan White - Stick Holding - 2 minutes

Then Backstrom scores near the midway point of the 2nd, Caps up 1-0.


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Meet Nicklas Backstrom

from Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet,

Wander into the Washington Capitals dressing room and ask about the watch Nicklas Backstrom received from Alex Ovechkin after the latter reached 500 goals and you won’t get a word about make or model. The Swede, whose years of deft passes are a major part of Ovechkin’s milestone, considers that personal info—and for him to dish words like he does pucks, the circumstances have to be right. But should one of his Caps teammates approach him and inquire about anything from on-ice systems to where the team should go to let loose, expect the unvarnished truth. “He’s not shy,” says Leif Boork, who coached Backstrom in Sweden. “He’s not shy at all. So don’t let yourself be fooled by the way he looks or acts.”

It’s easy to be duped into perceiving Backstrom as a guy who would never ruffle a feather. He’s the anti-Ovie in terms of attention-seeking and seems to be the only person in his orbit completely unbothered by the fact that he doesn’t receive full credit for the breadth of his abilities. His suggestions about where the Caps should go for a good time are always followed by: “But I’ll do whatever the boys want.”

And so many people genuinely like this guy that it’s hard to imagine he’s ever said a bad word about anybody. 


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Capitals won’t have Nicklas Backstrom’s services to start 15-16 season

Via The Score's Ian McLaren, the Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan reports that Nicklas Backstrom's hip surgery will yield an absence at the beginning of the regular season:

The Capitals expect top-line center Nicklas Backstrom to miss the start of the regular season after undergoing offseason arthroscopic hip surgery, Washington Coach Barry Trotz said Thursday. Backstrom practiced with the team on Wednesday, but it was non-contact, and he and Trotz have maintained that there’s no timetable for his return.

“He won’t start the season,” Trotz said. “I know that for sure. I wouldn’t think that’d he’d play through those first four games.”

The Capitals open the season on Oct. 10, and they play their first four games at home before a Western Canada swing through Calagary, Vancouver and Edmonton. Trotz said Backstrom hasn’t had any setbacks, but he’s preparing for a “worst-case scenario” return of Nov. 1 and then working back from there.

“Going down the Canada trip, who knows? He might make that trip, but I’m not sure if he’d get to the point where he could play or not or anything,” Trotz said.


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  Tags: barry+trotz, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

Barry Trotz Doesn’t Expect Nicklas Backstrom To Play In The Preseason Games

from Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider,

 Still working back from offseason hip surgery, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom is expected to remain sidelined through the team’s seven-game preseason exhibition slate, Coach Barry Trotz said Saturday.

“Backie is still the same,” Trotz said at Germain Arena, where the Capitals are participating in a four-team prospects tournament “He’s skating and if he keeps going, he’ll keep progressing and get cleared at some point to come to the main group. Once he comes to the main group, I think he’s a few weeks away. That won’t be for a little while. I don’t expect him to be playing in any of the exhibition games. I really don’t. If they tell me yes, then I’ll be happy.”

Otherwise, the Capitals might begin the regular season without the services of their first-line center and alternate captain, though Backstrom isn’t expected to sit much longer. After undergoing the arthroscopic operation in late May, Backstrom has taken his time with rehabilitation, preaching a better-safe-than-sorry approach for his recovery. Backstrom recently conducted a simulate skate test with strength coach Mark Nemish, another important step forward as mobility and strength in his hip return.


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Nicklas Backstrom The ‘Under the Radar’ NHL Super Star

from Alex Prewitt of Capitals Insider,

Watch the little plays, defenseman Karl Alzner explained, the kind that get swallowed by the larger context of games, but still stick out to those awestruck Washington Capitals watching from the bench. Watch how center Nicklas Backstorm breaks out on the power play. Or squeezes through traffic along the wall and continues forward, in full stride. Remember the one from Pittsburgh? No, not the game-winning assist to Joel Ward. Something far less memorable.

“See, that’s the thing,” Alzner said. “No one realizes it. He picked up the puck, quick dangled through someone, held the puck off, then just sauced right through the middle of the ice. It’s just plays like that, that, as players, you understand how hard they are. I can’t do it in practice, and he does it in games.”

The admiration inside the Capitals’ locker room for their alternate captain holds no limits, and Thursday night offered another chance for the respect to flow. On one end stood Backstrom, now tied for the NHL’s lead with 63 points, apologizing to reporters for taking too long to remove his shin guards and claiming such scoring was merely essential to the gig. After all, Backstrom said, he receives “a lot of ice time too, so I should produce for the team. Just doing my job.”


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Video- Hotstove Tonight

The group discussed the recent IOC decision on Nicklas Backstrom, talks about Markus Nalsand joining the Canucks' management group and the recent recommendations from the GM meetings. 

Also discussed the NHL Draft Lottery odds and making it simple on some goal calls.



added 8:40pm, Here is more from Friedman on Naslund,

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Statements From Don Fehr And Nicklas Backstrom Regarding IOC Decision

TORONTO/WASHINGTON (March 14, 2014) – The National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) released the following statements regarding today’s decision by the IOC:

Don Fehr, NHLPA Executive Director:

“We are certainly pleased that Nicklas Backstrom’s name has been cleared by the IOC ruling, allowing him to receive the silver medal that he earned with his Swedish teammates. The decision by the IOC Disciplinary Commission makes it clear that Nicklas was open and cooperative throughout the process and had clearly disclosed on his doping control form the Zyrtec-D medication he had been taking for his allergies.   Moreover, it is also welcome that the decision makes clear that Nicklas had both requested and received specific advice from the Swedish Chief Medical Officer that the allergy medication he was taking would not give rise to an adverse analytical finding.  Backstrom did nothing inappropriate, but merely asked for and followed medical advice from his team doctor. 

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  Tags: nicklas+backstrom, team+sweden

More Questions Than Answers With The Backstrom Positive Substance Test

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

A couple of hours before the biggest game of his young career, Nicklas Backstrom made his way to the Bolshoy Ice Dome and began warming up for the gold-medal tilt between his Swedish national team and Canada.

But by the time that game had started, Backstrom had been whisked away to a disciplinary hearing with International Olympic Committee officials over a positive test for a banned substance -- an element in an allergy medication that Backstrom has been taking for seven years, according to Swedish Olympic Committee officials -- and told he could not compete for his country.

It is absolutely mind-boggling that it came to this.

Backstrom provided the urine test in question on Wednesday, after the Swedes' quarterfinal win over Slovenia. He alerted doping officials that he was taking the medication. According to Swedish and International Ice Hockey Federation officials, the normal turnaround for such tests is 48 hours, and yet the general manager of the Swedish national team was informed that Backstrom had exceeded the threshold for an element found in the medication only two hours before the gold-medal game.


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  Tags: nicklas+backstrom, sochi+olympics, team+sweden

NHL Statement On Nicklas Backstrom

SOCHI, RUSSIA (Feb. 23, 2014) – National Hockey League Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly today released the following statement regarding Nicklas Backstrom:

“We understand that Nicklas Backstrom tested positive for a substance banned ‘in competition’ by the International Olympic Committee. It is our further understanding that the positive test was the result of a common allergy medication taken by the player knowingly, with the approval of the team doctor and without the intention of gaining an illegal or improper performance-enhancing benefit. In addition, the specific substance that resulted in the positive test is not currently on the League’s Prohibited Substances List.

“Subject to confirmation of the facts as we understand them, and given the fact that the substance is neither prohibited in the NHL nor was used in an improper manner here, we do not anticipate there being any consequences relative to Nicklas’ eligibility to participate in games for the Washington Capitals.”

added 11:38am, Washington Capitals statement...

ARLINGTON, Va. – Nicklas Backstrom did not participate in Team Sweden’s Olympic gold-medal game on Sunday due to the allergy medication he has been taking intermittently for seven years, including this season while playing for the Washington Capitals to combat severe allergies. The medicine was approved by the Swedish national team. It is not anticipated that this will impact his participation in NHL games.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, NHL Talk, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: nicklas+backstrom, sochi+olympics, team+sweden

Washington’s Backstrom Visiting Doctor For Neck Issue

from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,

Nicklas Backstrom is visiting a specialist in Michigan after suffering a neck injury while playing in the Kontinental Hockey League during the lockout, a Capitals spokesman confirmed.

Backstrom has not played since suffering the injury on Dec. 26 in a game for Dynamo Moscow. The Swedish center returned to North America on Sunday and was at the Capitals’ training facility in Arlington Monday, but has since traveled to Michigan.

“Nick and his agent informed us that they are being proactive with his injury and decided to visit a specialist prior to training camp,” Capitals spokesman Sergey Kocharov said. “Obviously, as you know until camp officially starts teams cannot perform physicals on any player.”


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Capitals Respond To Backstrom Suspension

ARLINGTON, Va. – We disagree with the NHL’s decision to suspend Nicklas Backstrom.  This has been a competitive and physical series, and we do not understand why a suspension was imposed in this case while other incidents in this series have not been reviewed. Our singular focus now is on Game 4, and we look forward to the energy that our great fans provide.

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Looks As If Backstrom Will Serve A Game Suspension

via Darren Dreger tweet,

Expect 1 game for Backstrom. NHL won’t rescind Match (penalty)

update 11:04pm,

Shanahan with the announcement of the one game suspension for Backstrom.

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Hearing Planned For Backstrom Cross-Check

from TSN,

Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals is scheduled for a disciplinary hearing as a result of his cross-check on Boston Bruins forward Rich Peverley at the end of Monday’s game.

Backstrom was assessed a match penalty on the play.

The hearing will likely be held on Wednesday with Game 4 of the series slated for Thursday.

Capitals head coach Dale Hunter defended Backstrom’s actions, saying he “was trying to protect his face,” because Peverley had his stick raised. Hunter feels the Bruins are targetting the head of Backstrom, who missed 40 games near the end of the regular season with a head injury.


update 1:29pm, Bob McKenzie just tweeted the hearing now is 3:30pm today.

Watch the incident here if you missed it earlier…

Update, 2:24 PM: Backstrom has been suspended effective prior to his hearing, per USA Today

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Nicklas Backstrom Cleared For Full Practice

from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,

After missing 37 games and nearly three months with a concussion, Nicklas Backstrom took a big step forward in his recovery on Saturday morning.

The Capitals’ star center has been cleared for full participation in practice with no restrictions and Backstrom was on the ice with a dozen teammates for an optional practice at KCI this morning. This session marks the first time he has taken full part in an on-ice workout with his teammates since Jan. 6 in San Jose.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for 2 and 1/2 months,” said a grinning Backstrom after the workout. “I’m kind of happy right now. It’s good to practice with the guys; feels pretty good out there. I haven’t been skating long but it feels alright right now.”

Backstrom has been symptom free since he began skating on March 13 and the center has been on the ice for 10 of the past 11 days.


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Caps’  Nicklas Backstrom Increases On-Ice Workouts

from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

For the third consecutive day, Backstrom skated in full equipment, stickhandling and firing wrist shots prior to practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

This time, though, there was a notable difference: He was joined by strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish and took medium-effort laps of the rink. Nemish timed Backstrom’s recovery between intervals.

It’s still way too early to speculate about a return date for Backstrom. But it’s clear that he feels well enough to begin ramping up his workouts, which is a positive development for the Caps.

Backstrom was on pace for a 90-point season when he was elbowed in the head by then-Calgary winger Rene Bourque on Jan. 3.


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Caps Put Backstrom On LTIR

via Lindsay Applebaum of Capitals Insider,

The Capitals have placed top center Nicklas Backstrom on the long term injured list, freeing up some room under the salary cap as today’s 3 p.m. trading deadline approaches.

The move would give General Manager George McPhee about $7.6 million to work with, but only if Backstrom is out for the rest of the season. Given that the 24-year old Swede has missed 25 games with a concussion and has skated for only five minutes over the past 52 days, that doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.

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Caps’ Backstrom Hopes To Be Ready For The Playoffs

from J.P. of Japers’ Rink,

[Recently Caps centerman Nicklas Backstrom spoke with Swedish outlet Gefle Dagblad about his recovery from the concussion that has sidelined him since January 3. A translation of the resulting article appears below, courtesy of our good friend Malin.]

“I don’t know when I will be able to play again, but I hope I will be ready for the playoffs.”

It was in the game against Calgary on January 3 that Rene Bourque delivered an elbow to the head of Nicklas Bäckström. The elbowing happened in the neutral zone.

“It was an unnecessary hit. I feel like he could have just skated by me instead.”

Bourque was suspended five games for that cowardly cheap shot. Since then Bourque has changed teams and he is now playing for the Montreal Canadiens where he is free to play without any restraints or problems.

Bäckström himself on the other hand has yet to play in a single game since he got hurt. He has now missed 15 games and it is still unclear when he will be able to return to the ice.

“I’m getting better, but it takes time,” he says.


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Nicklas Backstrom May Not Play Until February

from Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington,

Coach Dale Hunter is not saying he’ll keep Nicklas Backstrom out of the Capitals lineup until after the NHL All-Star break, but it’s sure looking like that’s the plan.

Asked for an update on Backstrom before Friday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Hunter said the 24-year-old center remains “day-to-day” with the concussion symptoms that have affected him since he was elbowed in the chin by forward Rene Bourque on Jan. 3.

“We’re just being real careful with him, still,” Hunter said.

Asked if the Caps might decide to take a similar path with Backstrom to the one they took with Mike Green – holding him out until after the Jan. 29 All-Star Game – Hunter acknowledged it’s being considered.


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Video- Another Elbow To The Head?

from Katie Carerra of Capitals Insider,

Near the midway point of the third period of Washington’s 3-1 win over the Flames on Tuesday, Nicklas Backstrom skated through the neutral zone, passed the puck to a teammate and then was elbowed in the head by Calgary’s Rene Bourque.

After Bourque struck Backstrom on the left side of his jaw, Backstrom skated toward the boards and leaned over into the space between the benches, then proceeded to the Capitals’ bench. He hunched over as he talked to head athletic trainer Greg Smith and a few teammates, but returned to the ice for the start of the power play that resulted from the elbowing minor Bourque received.

Backstrom took part in that shift on the power play and two more before he left the game with 3 minutes 19 seconds remaining in the third period.

“We removed him from the game, it was precautionary,” Coach Dale Hunter said. “He was getting evaluated right now. We’ll know more tomorrow.”

read on and watch the hit below…

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  Tags: nicklas+backstrom, rene+bourque

Strong Up the Middle


In my last article on left wings, a few of you mentioned the positional dilemmas that we seem to face when drafting forwards. This is a great point, since not only do position eligibilities change from league to league (eg. Yahoo/ESPN/CBS), but also from year to year. As well, we also need to keep our eye on forwards with dual position eligibility.

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  Tags: anze+kopitar, brad+richards, eric+staal, evgeni+malkin, fantasy+hockey, henrik+sedin, ian+gooding, jonathan+toews, nicklas+backstrom, ryan+getzlaf, ryan+kesler, sidney+crosby, steven+stamkos, the+goods

Report- Does Nicklas Backstrom Have A Fractured Thumb?

from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider,

The Capitals declined to comment on whether Nicklas Backstrom would miss time with what the team’s No. 1 center told a Swedish news outlet was a fractured thumb after he was slashed by Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang on Monday night.


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  Tags: nicklas+backstrom

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Lightning at Canadiens, 10/13/10

Death, taxes and JJ’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The alternative to the standard game recap became a staple of my Tampa Bay Lightning coverage last season and it was only a matter of time before it made its season debut here.

Sure, the title of the regular feature has now been copied by a second-rate Bolts blog as of this morning but the content can’t hold a candle to the original and, hell, you’re here with me and they’re, well… They’re sleeping, I’m sure, on Pacific Time and what not… (Lightning coverage from California? Now that’s insight!)

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, andrei+kostitsyn, brett+clark, carey+price, dan+ellis, dustin+boyd, guy+boucher, jaroslav+halak, martin+st.+louis, matt+smaby, maxim+lapierre, michael+vernace, mike+green, mike+lundin, mike+smith, nicklas+backstrom, nino+niederreiter, randy+jones, ryan+malone, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, steve+downie, steven+stamkos, teddy+purcell, tomas+plekanec, victor+hedman, vincent+lecavalier

Caps are Still the Caps, Which is Bad News for Everyone Else

Of all five Southeast Division clubs, the Washington Capitals of 2010-11 will look the most like themselves from a year ago, having added only a spattering of depth to the lineup that captured the President’s Trophy last season. Alas, as the reigning division champ and still the clear-cut class of the division, if it ain’t broke, well, you know… But a first-round playoff exit thanks to Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens left an awful taste in the mouths of Bruce Boudreau’s squad, meaning improvements are in order this year for sure. (Or else?)

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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+semin, braden+holtby, brendan+morrison, brian+fahey, brian+willsie, brooks+laich, bruce+boudreau, calder+cup, calder+trophy, d.j.+king, eric+belanger, eric+fehr, george+mcphee, hershey+bears, jaroslav+halak, jeff+schultz, joe+corvo, john+carlson, jose+theodore, karl+alzner, kyle+greentree, marcus+johansson, mathieu+perreault, michael+neuvirth, mike+green, mike+knuble, milan+jurcian, nhl+previews, nicklas+backstrom, scott+walker, semyon+varlamov, shaone+morrison, southeast+division, stefan+della+rovere, tomas+fleischmann

Southeast Division Statistical Previews by Position: Forwards

As the new season approaches, I’ll be making an effort to preview the Southeast Division in a slow and steady, comprehensive manner. To kick things off, I thought I’d take a look back at last year’s individual player statistics, updated to reflect this summer’s off-season transactions. (In other words, for example, we’ll group Dustin Byfuglien’s 2009-10 statistics with Chicago alongside his new Atlanta Thrashers teammates and their performances from last year.)

In short, we’ll look at last year’s stats with this year’s rosters, both by division as a whole and by individual teams, broken down by position… Because a look to the recent past can often be a good indicator of what’s to come. (Often… Not always. See: Cheechoo, Jonathan.) And, besides, I don’t know that you’ll find a list like this in too many places (at least I hope you won’t… Cause that would mean I spent too much time on all of this!)

To get things started, we’ll start tonight with the forwards.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, alexander+semin, andrew+ladd, ben+eager, brandon+sutter, brooks+laich, bryan+little, chad+larose, chris+higgins, chris+thorburn, cory+stillman, david+booth, david+steckel, dominic+moore, dustin+byfuglien, eric+fehr, eric+staal, erik+cole, evander+kane, jason+chimera, jim+slater, jussi+jokinen, marc+pouliot, martin+st.+louis, marty+reasoner, matt+bradley, michael+frolik, mike+knuble, nate+thompson, nicklas+backstrom, niclas+bergfors, nikolai+antropov, patrick+dwyer, radek+dvorak, rich+peverley, rostislav+olesz, ryan+malone, sergei+samsonov, simon+gagne, simon+gagne, stephen+weiss, steve+bernier, steve+downie, steve+reinprecht, steven+stamkos, teddy+purcell, tom+kostopolous, tomas+fleischmann, tuomo+ruutu, vincent+lecavalier, zach+boychuk

Nicklas Backstrom Signs Ten Year Contract

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed center Nicklas Backstrom to a 10-year contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Backstrom, 22, recently completed his third season in the NHL, all with the Capitals, and finished fourth in the league in scoring with 101 points. A native of Gavle, Sweden, Backstrom was the only Capital to play all 82 games in 2009-10, ranked third in the NHL in assists (68) and enjoyed his first 30-goal season (33).

The Capitals now have the top-scoring teammates in the NHL this season, Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin (210 combined points), under contract for the next 10 and 11 seasons, respectively.

Word is contract averages $6.7 per year.

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Backstrom With The OT Winner

Nicklas Backstrom’s 3rd goal of the game was also the game-winner.

Series tied 1-1 and now shifts to Montreal for two games.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
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Nicklas Backstrom Will Only Get Better

from Chris Nichols of Sportsnet,

We’re only into Backstrom’s third NHL campaign and he’s already established himself as one of the best passers in the league, but his overall game has been rounding into form for awhile now. Offensively, we’ve Alex Ovechkin’s pivot fire home 11 goals in his past 13 outings.

Coach Bruce Boudreau attributes Backstrom’s uptick to being less “cute” in scoring areas.

“He’s shooting the puck,” Boudreau noted to The Post. “That’s a [sign] of maturation. He’s not trying to be cute. He’s getting older. When he’s close to the net, he’s starting to like to score goals. It’s a good thing to want to dish, but he’s enjoying scoring goals and he’s pretty good at it.”

more and additional hockey talk too…

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  Tags: nicklas+backstrom

Big Game In The East Tonight

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

...OK, puckheads, now that we’ve wasted a few seconds of your time, we draw your attention to tonight’s game between Backstrom’s Capitals and the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.

The last time these two teams met was Dec. 20, when the Flyers pasted the Caps, 7-1. That was their first encounter since last spring’s first-round, seven-game playoff victory by Philadelphia. Needless to say, the Caps were looking forward to tonight.

“We had like 50 shots on them that night [48 to be exact],” Backstrom said of the Dec. 20 game. “It was a weird game. Everybody on the team is very much excited about this game [tonight].”

We like Washington’s chances. The Caps are an Eastern Conference-best 17-1-1 at home.

read on

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Backstrom Questionable For Opening Of Camp

from Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider,

Nicklas Backstrom suffered a sprained ankle yesterday when he collided with the goal, General Manager George McPhee confirmed moments ago. Backstrom stayed down for a few seconds, then skated off the rink gingerly.

Backstrom was seen walking with a pretty pronounced limp later in the day and he didn’t skate this morning.


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NHL Conference Call with the Calder Finalists

Today’s NHL media conference call brought together Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Nicklas Backstrom from Washington.  Earlier today all three were named as finalists for the Calder Trophy Award for the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Here is a transcript from that Q&A session.

Q. For Patrick and Jonathan, going after the same award, how do the two of you feel about that?

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  Tags: calder+trophy, interview, jonathan+toews, media, nicklas+backstrom, patrick+kane

The Caps Owner Hasn’t Given Up

from Ted’s Take,

I expect us to play hard and to play with desperation from here on out. We are still in the race. We have been playing terrific hockey.


You have to feel pretty bad for Caps rookie of the year candidate Nicklas Backstrom with his “own goal” yesterday.  In case you missed it you can watch the video…

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The Future Of The Capitals

from the CP,

When the Washington Capitals come to town, a crowd forms quickly around 22-year-old scoring star Alexander Ovechkin.

Not far away, left in relative peace, sits Nicklas Backstrom, the 20-year-old rookie who picks up many of the assists on Ovechkin’s often spectacular goals.

As a duo, they promise to bring misery to NHL goaltenders for many years to come. But for now, Ovechkin is happy to absorb the pressure of expectation and endless media interviews.

“Backie’s a great guy,” Ovechkin said Tuesday as the Capitals prepared to the play the first of back-to-back games against the Montreal Canadiens. “He’s a little shy with you guys, but not us.”


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  Tags: alexander+ovechkin, nicklas+backstrom

Backstrom—Rookie of the Month

From NHL.com,

Washington center Nicklas Backstrom, who led all rookies with 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 13 games as the Capitals posted their best month on a points percentage basis since February 2001, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for December.

Backstrom edged Chicago Blackhawks linemates Jonathan Toews (5-7—12 in 12 games) and Patrick Kane (2-7—9 in 12 games), Phoenix Coyotes center Martin Hanzal (1-8—9 in 14 games) and Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Tobias Enstrom (0-9—9 in 16 games) for the award.

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  Tags: nicklas+backstrom, rookie+of+the+month

Ovechkin a Mentor

From Mark Zwolinski at the Toronto Star,

Alex Ovechkin has become many things in Washington: a celebrity, a millionaire and a hero.  Now he’s a mentor and role model.

The 22-year-old has opened up his home to newcomer Nicklas Backstrom, and is helping the Swedish rookie adapt to hockey and life in the U.S. capital.

“I remember being a rookie and Dainius Zubrus, he helped me, so I wanted to give back the way Dainius did for me,” said Ovechkin, whose two goals lifted the Capitals to a 7-1 win over the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

“OV (Ovechkin) has been very good for Nicklas, he takes him all over and kind of shows him around,” Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. “Dainius was great with him, and now it hasn’t taken him long to reciprocate.”


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  Tags: alex+ovechkin, nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals

All Nicklas Backstrom


What kind of transition do you expect to the NHL?

Backstrom: I have to get used to the smaller rink. I feel better and better, but in the beginning it was tougher than I thought. But I’m playing with good players, so that will make it easier for me. I just have to work on my skating and getting a little quicker, but it’ll be good.

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  Tags: nicklas+backstrom, washington+capitals


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