Capitals Re-sign Nicklas Backstrom To Five-Year, $46 Million Contract

The Washington Capitals re-signed center Nicklas Backstrom to a five-year contract extension that carries a cap hit of $9.2 million per season that begins next year on Tuesday morning. Backstrom could have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The deal was finalized last Friday, January 10, and formally announced today.

Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan and Team President Dick Patrick will hold a press conference with Backstrom at 3 PM ET.

Backstrom told Aftonbladet, “I am very pleased. Maybe I would have been able to get a higher salary if I waited and tested the free market this summer, but I didn’t want to take that risk. It’s important for me to stay in Washington my entire career,” said the 32-year-old star center.

“It’s important for me to stay in Washington. After thirteen years, this has become home to me and my family. I also want to play with the Capital for the rest of my career. Few people are allowed to stay in the same club for so long, so I really appreciate that.”

When asked if negotiating his own contract was a difficult process, Backstrom replied “No, I do not think so. There have been some discussions here and there but I think it went well.”

According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, the first three years of Backstrom’s contract includes a full no-move clause and then two years with a limited no-trade clause (15 teams he cannot be traded to).

In 934 career NHL games, all with the Capitals, the fourth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft has posted 240 goals, 908 points, and a +114 rating. In 123 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Backstrom has posted 36 goals, 106 points, and a +8 rating. He is the Capitals’ franchise leader in assists (868) and second in points behind captain Alex Ovechkin (1255).

During the Capitals’ run to the Stanley Cup in 2018, Backstrom recorded five goals and 23 points in 20 games.

With Backstrom now under contract, the Capitals have their top three centers under contract for the next three seasons after this season and four for the next two.

Backstrom’s new cap hit is now the second-highest on the Capitals behind Ovechkin ($9.53 million). He fired his agent earlier this season and represented himself in contract negotiations.

He has represented Sweden three times in international tournaments including the Winter Olympic Games in 2010 and 2014 and the 2016 World Cup Of Hockey.

The Capitals now have $12,394,872 left in cap space for next season with goaltender Braden Holtby and defenseman Radko Gudas set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 and forward Travis Boyd, defenseman Jonas Seigenthaler, and forward Brendan Leipsic set to become restricted free agents. Captain Alex Ovechkin, who can become an unrestricted free agent in 2021, and forward Jakub Vrana, who can become a restricted free agent then, are eligible to sign contract extensions on July 1.

From The Caps

The Washington Capitals have re-signed center Nicklas Backstrom to a five-year, $46 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Backstrom’s contract will carry an average annual value of $9.2 million.

Backstrom, 32, is the all-time franchise leader in assists (668) and one of just two players in franchise history to record at least 900 points with the Capitals (Backstrom: 908; Alex Ovechkin: 1,255), reaching the mark on Dec. 20, 2019 against the New Jersey Devils. Backstrom is the only active player in the NHL that has recorded at least 50 assists in six consecutive seasons. Last season, he became the 26th player in NHL history and one of two active players (Joe Thornton, San Jose) to accomplish this feat. Of the 25 other players to reach this mark, 23 are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The other two, Thornton and Henrik Sedin, are not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame. Additionally, Backstrom is the only player in the NHL to record at least 20 goals and 50 assists in the last four consecutive seasons. Backstrom’s 0.69 assists per game mark since 2014-15 are tied for fourth in the NHL among players with at least 100 games played during that span. In addition, his 668 career assists rank fourth among active players.

Backstrom has recorded 35 points (9g, 26a) in 39 games this season. His 52.1 shot attempt percentage at five-on-five (564 shot attempts for, 517 shot attempts against) ranks first among Capitals forwards with at least 13 minutes per game at five-on-five.

Since his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 2007 against the Atlanta Thrashers, Backstrom leads the NHL with 668 assists despite ranking 17th in games played during that span. Additionally, Backstrom’s 295 power play assists rank first during that span and his 368 power play points rank second only to Ovechkin’s 389. Backstrom’s 295 power play assists are tied for 40th on the NHL’s all-time list. Backstrom has assisted on a franchise-high 255 of Ovechkin’s 686 goals (37.2 percent). Only three players in NHL history have set up a teammate more: Wayne Gretzky (364; Jari Kurri), Bryan Trottier (310; Mike Bossy) and Henrik Sedin (280; Daniel Sedin).

The 6’1″, 206-pound center has led the Capitals in assists in seven of his last 12 seasons and led the NHL in assists during the 2014-15 season (60a). The Gavle, Sweden, native has recorded at least 60 assists in a season five times in his career, joining Scott Stevens as the only player in franchise history to record multiple 60 assist seasons (1987-88 and 1988-89). Backstrom has recorded five of the top 10 most assists in a single season by a Capital. Backstrom’s 68 assists in 2009-10 are his single season high and the third-highest total in a single season in franchise history (Dennis Maruk: 1981-82; Adam Oates: 2000-01).

Backstrom was selected by the Capitals in the first round, fourth overall, in the 2006 NHL Draft. He ranks first among his draft class in points (908), assists (668), fourth in games played (934) and fifth in goals (240). Backstrom holds a 124-assist lead over Claude Giroux (Philadelphia) and a 58-point lead over Phil Kessel (Arizona), who each rank second in each respective category among the 2006 NHL Draft class.

He was named to the NHL All Star Game during the 2015-16 season, becoming one of nine centers in franchise history to receive the honor.

Backstrom is one of two players in franchise history to record 100 career playoff points (Ovechkin: 126 pts; Backstrom, 106 pts), ranking ninth in the NHL among active players. During the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup run, Backstrom ranked third on the team with 23 points (5g, 18a) in 20 games and recorded seven points (1g, 6a) in the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. Over the last three postseasons, Backstrom’s 1.10 points per game rating is fourth in the NHL among players with at least 10 playoff games played. Additionally, Backstrom’s four overtime goals in the playoffs are the most in franchise history and tied for the fifth most in NHL history.

In 60 international games for Sweden, including the World Championship (2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2017) and the Olympics (2010, 2014), Backstrom has recorded 42 points (12g, 30a) to help Sweden win two World Championship Gold Medals and an Olympic Silver Medal. He ranks fifth in NHL history in assists among Swedish-born players and seventh in points.

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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14 Responses to Capitals Re-sign Nicklas Backstrom To Five-Year, $46 Million Contract

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Excellent news! Great to have Saint Nick finish his career in Washington.

    But let’s fix the 2019-2020 Caps and win another Stanley Cup Championship!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Welcome home, Nicky!

  3. Anonymous says:

    ……and with no agent, that seems like a pretty good deal for both sides, as one would expect.

  4. Pingback: Capitals’ Backstrom: “It’s Important For Me To Stay In Washington. It Has Become Me And My Family’s Home For The Last Thirteen Years.” | NoVa Caps

  5. Esteban says:

    That is a terrible contract for the Caps.
    Year 1, $6 M signing bonus and $6 M salary
    Year 2, $5 M SB and $5 M salary
    Year 3, $3 M SB and $3 M salary
    Year 4, $5 M SB and $5 M salary
    Year 5, $6 M SB and $2 M salary

    8 million for Nick at age 37?
    12 million for him next year?
    Bye Holtby and any cap space. Maybe Kuzy or Eller have to go to bring up McMichael.

  6. Pingback: Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom: “ I Had One Goal In Mind And That Was To Stay Here” | NoVa Caps

  7. Anonymous says:

    HEre is a proposed trade – NJ and RP for one D like TJ brodie… then allow TB to play 4th line RW and move GH to 3rd line

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