Saturday wasn’t an easy day for the Washington Capitals. The team announced that Nicklas Backstrom underwent left hip resurfacing surgery on Friday in Belgium and that he will begin a lengthy recovery process and rehabilitation immediately. However, there is no timetable for his return, and given the procedure, it could be career-ending.
Meanwhile, defensive prospect Alex Alexeyev also underwent a surgical labral repair on his left shoulder. Alexeyev had the potential to compete for a roster spot this season, with Justin Schultz, Michal Kempny and Matt Irwin appearing likely to depart given Washington’s cap situation and offseason needs.
Now, as the Stanley Cup Final rolls on and free agency loom, the Capitals face a lot of decisions and a busy summer. Not only will they be without Backstrom, but Tom Wilson is also likely out until at least December. So, this offseason, the team needs to find a goalie, get some firepower on the right wing and now, find a top-6 center.
Here are all the latest news and notes from D.C. and across the NHL:
- Here’s a closer look at the procedure that Nicklas Backstrom underwent, and whether or not he will be able to continue his NHL career. (WHN)
- We also take a look at Alex Alexeyev and what his surgery means for Washington and the blue line. (WHN)
- Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie made “Mr. National” Ryan Zimmerman’s retirement ceremony even sweeter. (NoVa Caps)
- Former Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky dished two points in Game 2 and stayed red hot in the Stanley Cup Final before exiting with an injury. (Sportsnet)
- Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche absolutely steamrolled the Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-0, for a 2-0 series lead. (CHN)
- As Barry Trotz watch continues, Colby Guy explains why the Florida Panthers should stick with Andrew Brunette behind the bench. (FHN)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- The Backstrom news is devastating, but it is also good to see that he underwent the procedure that he thought was best for him and getting rid of the pain. He has dished 1,011 points in 1,058 games, and no matter what happens next, he has secured the title of the best center to ever play in Washington. Thank you, Backy.
- Seven goals are the most Andrei Vasilevskiy has ever allowed in his career, and it’s just the second time he’s given up that many. Colorado has absolutely broken Tampa so far, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they carry that momentum over to Amalie Arena.
- With Alexeyev out until at least October and likely to miss training camp based on the timeline, I expect Lucas Johansen to start next year in the NHL. The ball is in his court, though, as anyone can step up in camp, as we’ve seen in the past (Hendrix Lapierre, Nathan Walker, etc.).