Niklas Backstrom ‘optimistic’ about Washington Capitals return sometime in ’22-23′

Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
As training camp kicks off at Washington Capitals this week, one of the strongest players in the series for a long time is feeling hopeful that he can get back on the ice at some point this season.

Nicklas Backstrom has had a very fruitful and memorable 15-year career as a member of List Capitals, and he’s not ready to end it yet. Drafted fourth overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, he was a rock for the team after making his NHL debut a year later. In ten seasons, he played 70 or more games and earned 70 or more points in eight others. It was also a big part of their preparation for the organization’s only Stanley Cup tournament in 2018.

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However, staying on the ice has been difficult in recent seasons, and in 2021-2022 the 34-year-old was only fit in 47 career low-level matches. In June, the Swedish star underwent a serious surgery known as a hip resurfacing. As explains, hip resurfacing “is a form of hip replacement surgery. Implants are used to relieve hip pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis and other conditions. Implants replace damaged tissue and bone, allowing more fluid to move in” .

Niklas Backstrom thinks recent hip surgery will prolong his career at Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals, Niklas back
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Given the type of surgery and fitness for professional hockey, it’s likely at best to be back on the ice within six months. And while the organization doesn’t have a timetable on when Backstrom will return, the one-time All-Star team on Friday told local media that they feel “optimistic” about his fit in perfectly healthy this season. Not to mention he already feels pain-free after the surgery which he believes could extend his playing career by several more seasons.

“You want to end on your own terms, not because of an injury and feel like you’re playing through things you don’t want to. That was a big part of [having the surgery]. I’m optimistic I will do that now.”

Back on modern surgery [h/t washington capitals]

However, team general manager Brian McClellan recently revealed that he is taking a more cautious, wait-and-see approach to Backstrom’s recovery and schedule for return this season.

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“It’s a tough surgery,” McClellan said. [h/t NBC Sports]. “So we see halfway to his recovery what is hopping [and] The strength that he regained from her, it is difficult for anyone to imagine how he would react and how he would come out of the surgery. We’ll wait and see where he is, how he feels and how he progresses.”

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