According to the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell, Nicklas Backstrom’s contract impasse with the Capitals is not about money.
It’s about contract length.
Pell reports that Backstrom wants a five-year deal that would take him through his age-37 season while the Capitals only want to go only three years. Backstrom, who is operating as his own agent, wants to avoid another negotiation, while the Capitals are leery to go past Nicky’s age 35 season where “data shows players’ production begins to fall.”
Pell’s feature gives the greatest insight to date into Backstrom’s contract negotiations (so go read it right now).
“Either it is going to be done or they will be going the other direction, I don’t know,” Backstrom said.
The news comes a day after it was reported that the Capitals and Braden Holtby will not be negotiating a new contract during the season.
In a recent interview late last week with DC101, Backstrom revealed that the two sides honestly “haven’t really talked that much.” But he also made it clear that he wants to retire in DC – his first and only NHL home.
“I want to be a Capital for life,” Backstrom said. “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.”
“We’ll work it out,” Leonsis said. “And I hope to build the organization so that carries over. … I would expect an Alex, a Nick, they play here forever, then they retire and then they’re associated with us very, very closely through alumni, through who knows whatever kinds of relationships.”
The one thing that is interesting about the contract length Backstrom reportedly desires is that it tracks with a conversation Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom had on a podcast together in September.
‘You gonna sign six more years and then I’ll sign for five more years,’ Ovechkin said kinda joking, kinda not about retiring together.
Headline photo: Capitals
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