Nicklas Backstrom After Day 1 of Capitals’ Training Camp: “I Think We Are Just Lucky To Play Hockey Again”

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On Monday afternoon, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom spoke to the media on a Zoom call following Group Blue’s practice from the first day of training camp in Phase 3 of the NHL’s Return to Play Plan. The Capitals are set to play their round-robin opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, August 3 in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Backstrom wanted to keep his family as safe as possible, so he returned to D.C. alone late last month and his family remained in Sweden. Being away from family for a few months will be the biggest challenge for players.

The 32-year-old Swede mentioned how you have to make sacrifices during difficult situations. He had a “good conversation” with his family prior to departing to Washington, but added, “I think we are just lucky to play hockey again.”

In mid-January, Backstrom signed a five-year contract extension that carries a cap hit of $9.2 million per season with Capitals. “I’ve heard it from many, many people that I got lucky…sometimes you got to be lucky, he said about resigning six months ago. He could have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Backstrom is confident in the team and knows they could a favorite to win another Stanley Cup. “We’re playing for the championship here!”

On July 10, Backstrom told Swedish news outlet Sportbladet, “It will be very different, but it’s the same for everyone and we still have a very nice prize to play for. I think this is going to be a bit of fun. We also have two weeks to get in shape, so the rust I have from the first workouts will soon be shaken off.”

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter and an online student earning a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Full Sail University. She comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, Della enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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