There are still ways to go, but the Washington Capitals saw a major step in the right direction this weekend for Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson, as both players have joined the team on this two-game road swing as they their recoveries.
Per NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti, Backstrom and Wilson are on the ice for the morning skate in Winnipeg. Both are in non-contact jerseys.
Wilson started skating with the team again back on Friday, taking part in the team’s practice prior to the 4-1 win over the Seattle Kraken. He had been skating on his own.
The 28-year-old underwent ACL surgery in May after tearing the ligament in Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. His initial timeline of 6-8 months has him projected to return in late December or early January.
Meanwhile, Backstrom has been taking part in morning skates with the team for a bit longer. No. 19 underwent hip resurfacing surgery in June, a procedure that has ended the careers of some NHL players. However, Backstrom said for the first time in years, he is pain free, and he is optimistic that he will play again. And from the looks of it, he’s on the right track to make that a reality at some point.
Both have been making progress at the skates:
It will be huge for when these two return, as the Capitals are dealing with a myriad of injuries across the board. Carl Hagelin (hip surgery) and Connor Brown (ACL surgery) are likely out for the remainder of the season, and Beck Malenstyn is also out after hand surgery. Meanwhile, on defense, Dmitry Orlov (lower-body), Martin Fehervary (upper-body) and Alex Alexeyev (upper-body) are all on the shelf. Darcy Kuemper is also day-to-day, though he’s on the ice in Winnipeg.
This story is being updated in real time.