Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, Linked for Life

Nick Backstom is the Washington Capitals extraordinary center that is most known for his slick feeds to the Alex Ovechkin “Office.” He is the guy with the smoothest puck delivery that sets up teammates to score. This past season he notched his 200th goal, assisted by his buddy Ovechkin. In January 2017 he hit a major milestone in his career becoming the first Cap player to record 500 assists, the second fastest Swedish player to record 500 assists, as well as the third fastest NHL player with 500 assists. He is one of the most consistent players in the Capitals roster:

Nicky is the ultimate hockey professional. After winning the Cup he revealed that he played through the finals with a fractured hand. He missed four games during the playoffs but returned strong for the great finish. After returning, he managed to tally two goals and eight assists despite the hidden injury.

His fractured finger didn’t keep from holding his sons hand as he headed to the first game in Vegas.

Backstrom has played with the Capitals for 11 seasons. He was a first round number four pick for the Capitals in 2006. Alex Ovechkin announced the Caps selection and from that point on, the two became close allies in the quest for the Stanley Cup. According to ABC Sports, since the 2006 season when the pair began playing together, Backstrom has assisted Ovi on 220 of his 509 goals. Hard to imagine them ever being apart; however, for a brief period last season Barry Trotz experimented with splitting them up only to later realize his error and reunite the duo.

When it comes to the playoffs the Capitals rely on Backstrom’s consistency to create opportunities for players to score. That said, he isn’t afraid to score himself! In 116 playoff games he has recorded 67 assists and delivered 31 goals.

For now Backy is going to celebrate the Stanley Cup Championship on his own in his hometown of Gavle, Sweden on 12 August 2018. Among the stops will be to the arena named after him because of his sponsorship. He will have his girlfriend Liza Berg and their two children with him, as well as his family is Sweden. No doubt that his dad, Anders, will have a chance too to lift the big guy too!

Nicky will be 31 in November of the 2018/19 season. He has two more seasons on his $67 million ten-year contract, at which point he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Capitals, and Backstrom, will have to decide if at 33 he should stay with the Capitals or think about other opportunities. At 33 it is doubtful the Caps would offer him a long-term contract; however, the NHL also recognizes that older players are capable of continuing a higher level of performance longer then in previous generations. This is especially true given the healthier lifestyles and diets that are designed to protect their bodies from the rigors of playing hockey.

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