After spending Thursday with Andre Burakovsky in Malmo and Saturday with Cristian Djoos in Gavle, the Stanley Cup’s tour of Sweden concluded on Sunday with a day with Nicklas Backstrom, in Valbo, Sweden. (Reminder, you can find the latest schedule of dates for Capitals players “day with the Stanley Cup” right here.)
Backstrom Home, Valbo, Sweden
The Stanley Cup started its day with the Backstrom family at their home in Valbo, where the kids, Haley and Vince, had their breakfast of choice….ice cream! Backstrom told the Washington Post that he decided to let the children decide what would be served for breakfast this special day.
Following the ice cream breakfast, Nicklas turned-in another “sparkling” assist by helping with Cup cleanup! I guess Backy might have been feeling a tad bit guilty about the breakfast mess. As for the “Keeper of the Cup”, Philip Pritchard, who is responsible for the Cup and its overall appearance, Phil stated that “Nicklas Backstrom does a great job, but we suggest he sticks to playing hockey..leave the cleaning to us.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) August 12, 2018
Backstrom spent a majority of his non-Washington life in Valbo, growing up in the small town, learning the game of hockey, plying at Valbo Ice Hall (now named NickBack Arena), and ultimately spending his summers there.
NickBack Arena, Valbo, Sweden
Backstrom joined Christian Djoos at Gavlerinken Arena on Saturday for a visit with his former Brynas Club. On Sunday, the Cup traveled just down the road to Valbo for a full day with Backstrom, including a public event at his namesake arena, NickBack arena. It is estimated that about 1,200 folks attended today’s event.
Valbo HC plays all of their home games at NickBack Arena, which is named after Backstrom, who assumed arena sponsorship on August 28th, 2011. NickBack Arena is the site of the annual Nicklas Backstrom Cup, held each summer for under 16 hockey players in the Gavle area.
You may recall that Backstrom recently donated his entire earnings from Sweden’s Gold Medal in the World Championships last year to the Valbo HC, his former youth organization. (more on that here).
Backstrom and the Cup entered the arena to a hero’s welcome. Backstrom’s entryway was lined with kids from Valbo youth hockey, close friends and former coaches and Valbo team mates.
Backstrom said a few words to open the event. “The first thing I thought when we won was that I would take Cup home to Valbo,” said Backstrom.
The opening ceremonies for the public event also included the unveiling of a new banner for NickBack Arena.
Following the opening ceremonies, Backstrom met with many of those in attendance, and posed for few photos with the Stanley Cup.
Backstrom also posed for a photo with longtime Valbo HC employee ”Ingrid”. According to Valbo HC’s website, Ingrid was Valbo Hockey’s first chancellor, and one of those who at that time supported Niklas Backstrom and all his teammates when they came down after school for free skating.
“Ingrid has, like many others, meant a lot for the club and all the young people and their parents. Many years later, now Inger gets to join in and enjoy the joy Niklas spreads through himself and Stanley Cup he brought home.”
More photos from the public event can be found here.
The entire ceremony, in Swedish:
Backstrom Boat, Baltic Sea, Sweden
Following the public event at NickBack Arena, the Backstrom family took to the Baltic for family photos on the water.
Private Event, Valbo, Sweden
Nicklas would say goodbye to the Stanley Cup, and finish the day with a “Back to Back” chant.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 24, 2018
In The Clubhouse Turn
The Stanley Cup is now off to Rosenheim, Germany for a day with Philipp Grubauer on Monday, then returns to Russia for its second and final visit of the summer, with stops in Chelyabinsk, for Evgeny Kuznetsov on Wednesday the 15th and Novokuznetsk for Dmitry Orlov on Friday the 17th. More on the entire summer schedule for the Stanley Cup can be found here.
PREVIOUS DAYS WITH THE CUP
By Jon Sorensen