Nicklas Backstrom is in the final season of a 10-year, $67 million contract he originally signed on May 17, 2010, and will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. But if both the Capitals and Backstrom had their way, he will have signed to a new deal before then.
GM Brian MacLellan said on November 26 that the Capitals “want [Backstrom] back. He’s a big part of our organization and we’re going to do whatever we can to get him back.” Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has predicted Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin will retire as Capitals. Meanwhile, Backstrom himself, who is negotiating a new contract without an agent, has stated several times that he would like to come back. “I love it here. I love the fans. I love everything about being in this city,” Backstrom said. “I would like to stay, yeah. So hopefully we’ll come up with a solution.”
Thursday, in an interview on DC101’s Elliot In The Morning, Backstrom gave an update on his contract negotiations and stated in the strongest terms possible he wants to retire in Washington
Elliot Segal asked Backstrom if a new deal was close and on the horizon.
“Honestly, we haven’t really talked that much,” Backstrom said. “As I said before, I want to be a Capital for life. I love this team. I love this city. This is home for me. Obviously I would like to get it done but you know there’s situations about the salary cap. But I have no intention on going anywhere. If we can get it done, that would be really great and I’d be super proud to represent the Caps for my whole career.”
Backstrom also spoke about Friday’s game against the New Jersey Devils which will mark the 900th career game he will have played together with Alex Ovechkin.
“We all know we’ve been playing a lot of games together, but I wasn’t expecting to play 900 together which I’m super happy and super proud about,” Backstrom said. “Hopefully more to come you know?”
He added that Ovechkin was the best line-mate he’s ever had. “Absolutely. Not even close,” he said.
The Swedish center also hopes to hit the 900-point mark milestone (he has 896 points currently) before the team splits for Christmas break after its game against Boston on Monday, December 23.
“That’s another milestone that’s going to be huge and I’ll be really happy to hit soon,” Backstrom said. “Hopefully we’ll get it done before Christmas here so we can relax before break.”
Unlike many of his teammates who opt to travel, Backstrom is planning to stay home with the family in DC and spend time with his kids. “That’ll be fun and a nice break.”
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
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