Just over two months after Sweden’s World Championship victory in Cologne, Germany, Nicklas Bäckström is on the ice once again. Bäckström, along with a dozen other NHL players, including Capitals prospect Christian Djoos, are participating in a week-long training camp at the Göransson Arena in Sandviken, Sweden.
The camp, which started on Monday, is organized by Sweden’s legendary hockey coach, Thony Lindquist. Other notable NHL players at the camp include Elias Lindholm (Carolina Hurricanes), Anders Lindbäck (Dallas Stars) and Jakob Silfverberg (Anaheim Ducks). The camp runs from 10:20 to 11:30AM each day this week.
Bäckström told Sweden’s Sportbladet that he liked the idea of a week-long training session. “Yes, it would be fun if there will be even more players next year. Knowing it’s this week every year is also easier to plan. This is more common in North America, and I hope we can do something like this. Only in the Gävle area there are tens of players in NHL and it is important to take advantage of it.”
NHL and the Olympics
Sportbladet also asked Bäckström about the upcoming Olympic games, and the NHL’s decision not to participate. “Clearly I hope, but I also realize that it does not look particularly bright,”
Winning Gold at the World Championships
On winning the gold medal at this year’s World Championships, Bäckström stated that “Getting involved and winning definitely increases the motivation to win more. That’s why you play: to get along and win. It also adds extra confidence to one of these things and you enter a good feeling for this season. A feeling I hope to bring myself into the team”, says Bäckström while sweat droplets from one of the first ice passes of the season run down from the forehead.
Sportbladet’s full interview with Bäckström can be found here.
By Jon Sorensen