Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom will miss the start of training camp, the team announced Thursday. Backstrom is currently listed as week-to-week as he continues to undergo rehabilitation on his hip.
The 33-year-old center said in a Swedish interview with Sports Expressen, as translated by Google Translate, that he’d been playing through pain and that he was going to see a specialist over the summer and work on rehabilitating. He mentioned surgery was off the table for then.
No. 19 also told Gefle Dagblad over the offseason that he had surgery on his hip six years ago.
“Now, to be honest, it’s so-so,” Backstrom said, as translated by RMNB‘s Magnus Cadelin.
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Backstrom had opted not to play in the IIHF World Championships in the offseason due to said ailment.
Brian MacLellan also mentioned that the forward had been dealing with an injury.
“I think it caught up with him at the end. It got worse and he struggled to be at 100 percent,” MacLellan noted. “I think Nick had a great year… we were really with the year that he had and unfortunately, he got worn down at the end of the year.”
Backstrom led Washington in scoring last season with 53 points in 55 games. He has been one of the Capitals’ most consistent performers over the years. He has hit the 50-point mark for eight straight seasons, including a six-season stretch of at least 20 goals and 50 assists.
With Backstrom potentially out to start the season, Washington has to fill a vacancy at pivot. Lars Eller has proven he can play top-6 minutes, and this also could be a chance for Connor McMichael to slot in and win a roster spot. For Washington, it’ll be a tough void to fill if Backstrom does indeed miss time.