Nicklas Backstrom had been waiting twelve years to bring the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Gavle, Sweden. When he finally got the chance, he made the most of every moment.
He shared the Cup with family, former teammates, and current teammate Christian Djoos. He’d dreamt about this trophy as a child. Bringing it back to all the places where he grew up was a touching and fitting tribute.
It was raining when the Stanley Cup arrived at Backstrom’s house, but that didn’t put a damper on the mood. “I missed it,” he said, taking the Cup out of its case and giving it a kiss.
In his blog Dump ‘n Chase, Capitals reporter Mike Vogel recapped his visit and described a few instances of the Backstrom family’s generosity. “Backstrom’s father Anders, brother Kris and Anders’ friend Thomas personally made the drive down from Gavle to pick us up from the airport,” Vogel said.
“Over the years, I’ve learned not to be astounded at the kindness of Backstrom and his family; it’s who they are.”
Next, it was time for the breakfast of champions. Well…sort of.
“I was just thinking, ‘What would the kids like to eat from it?'” Backstrom said. “Doesn’t matter if it’s eight or nine in the morning, we’ll just throw ice cream in it, make it a sundae, and they’ll love it. Like Vince did.”
After the sticky meal was done, Nicklas broke out the hose to help clean off Lord Stanley.
Backstrom brought the Cup to NickBack Arena, which was named after him. He carried the Cup out to a crowd of fans, family, former teammates, and youth hockey players.
During the photo op, someone put a baby in the Cup! (Not Backstrom’s baby this time, but still cute.)
Backstrom took the Cup and the video crew on a tour around his childhood haunts, including a field where he used to play pond hockey. Bonus: Baby Backstrom photos.
The Backstroms threw a party that evening, and they traveled there in style: by taking a boat ride across the Baltic Sea.
Backstrom had spent much of the previous day celebrating with fellow Swede Christian Djoos. Tonight, he returned the favor and asked Djoos to carry the Cup with him into the waiting crowd.
Mike Vogel picked up another interesting story during the party. In his Dump ‘n Chase recap, he said:
I spent a little time talking to Anders Huss, a veteran of 15 seasons with Brynas IF who is Backstrom’s uncle. Not only that, Huss was an 11th round pick (216th overall) of the Capitals in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, some 23 years before his nephew was chosen fourth overall in 2006. I’ve known Nicklas for a dozen years, and don’t remember him ever mentioning that his uncle was a Caps draft choice some 35 years ago.
Later in the evening, they showed a montage of the Capitals Stanley Cup win. Backstrom got a little choked up while watching.
We’re not crying, YOU’RE crying.
Backstrom’s fiance Liza Berg spoke next.
…okay, we’re definitely crying.
After one last “Cheers!” from Nicky, it was time for dancing.
The Capitals have to win the Cup, we need more of this revelry! It’s not an option anymore: Back-to-Back for the Backstroms.
Headline photo: Capitals
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