Nicklas Backstrom, who signed a five-year extension with the Capitals in Janary, recently returned to his native Sweden to as he awaits the possible restart of the NHL’s 2019-20 season.
“It’s better for the kids, we have a lot more to play outside and I have better ways of training,” Backstrom said to Expressen’s Gunnar Nordström and translated by RMNB’s Magnus Cadelin.
Backstrom was asked about the NHL’s current 24-team, return-to-play plan that would see the 12 best teams in each conference play at one hub each and start the postseason immediately.
“Yeah, right now I think that’s the only option,” Backstrom said.
Under the current plan, the Washington Capitals would be the third seed in the Eastern Conference and would play the winner of the Carolina Hurricanes (6) and New York Rangers (12) play-in series. After that round is concluded, all series would be a best of seven.
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported that the top four teams could play each other to further determine seeding.
The NHL return-to-play format currently under discussion allows for some jockeying among the top-four teams in each conference (BOS/TB/WASH/PHI … STL/COL/VGK/DAL). It would see them play each other — three games, in-conference — with the outcomes helping determine seeding.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 21, 2020
Las Vegas appears likely to be one of the hubs where the teams would play while other destinations, like Edmonton, are trying to get NHL consideration.
Curious what NHL players think about this? Edmonton is rolling out an impressive “lifestyle” presentation in its Hub city quest. Secured golf course. Cool temps. Outdoor big screens for movies/other games. Some fun stuff planned. More tonight in Insider Trading.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 21, 2020
Earlier in the day, Capitals defenseman John Carlson spoke to NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico and was less enthused about the idea.
John Carlson isn't a fan of the 24-team playoff.
"They're jogging all their options right now and leaving the doors open for any potential scenario. I think 24 teams sounds like a lot of teams to me if I'm being honest."
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) May 21, 2020
Backstrom was also asked about Jerome Powell. In a 60 Minutes feature, the Fed Chair was revealed to be an “enormous fan” of the team.
“I didn’t actually know that,” Backstrom said. “He hasn’t been in the locker room to meet the players or anything. But I’m glad he likes hockey. Let’s just hope things get back to normal so we all get hockey back.”
Backstrom, at age 32, was once again having another solid year. The Swedish center has collected 54 points in 61 games before the season was suspended on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 13-year veteran became a father of three in March when Liza Berg gave birth to the couple’s second girl, Alizee.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.