Nicklas Backstrom On Status Of Hip Injury: “I Really Hope It Works Out. I Still See A Bright Future”

Nicklas Backstrom outside of NickBack Arena (Photo: Daniel Sandström/GD.se)

Washington Capitals centerman Nicklas Backstrom and his family have made their way back to Sweden for the off-season. For Backstrom, it’s a time for resting his beleaguered hip and tending to his obligations in and around his home town of Gavle, Sweden.

One of Backstrom’s first orders of business when he returns home each off-season is to check-in with his former youth club, Valbo HC, where he remains an integral part of the management and operations of the team. You may recall that the team’s arena, NickBack Arena, was recently renamed after Backstrom for his continued support of the organization.

You may also recall that Backstrom donated his entire earnings from Sweden’s Gold Medal in the 2017 World Championships to the Valbo HC. Backstrom also spent part of his day with the Stanley Cup in the summer of 2018 at NickBack arena.

During his most recent visit to Valbo this week, Backstrom met with local reporter  to discuss the status of his hip injury and the possibility of returning to play for Brynas (also a former club) when his NHL playing days are over.

First and foremost, Backstrom provided an update on his on-going hip issue. After sitting out the first half of last season, Backstrom said he felt good when he returned to full-time play in January, but things began to deteriorate as the season wore on.

“In the beginning, when I came back last winter, it went well. When it gets more intense, it’s hard. I’ve had a bad hip for eight years but it has been possible to play and there is something positive about that,” said Backstrom in an interview with GD.se.

“It has been many tough days. Of course we need to find a solution to the problem. I want to be able to continue playing on two legs in any case. We are looking at solutions right now and I just look ahead.”

Whether that means an operation this summer or not, Backstrom still doesn’t want to say.

“I had surgery many years ago, but I will not do that kind of surgery again in that way. There are some things we will test. We’ll see what happens,” said Backstrom.

“I really hope it works out. I still see a bright future. These problems are not something that has come now, but they have been around for a long time. We’ll see what’s going to happen [this summer]. We have some decisions to make. Those decisions aren’t finalized yet, so we’ll take it day by day.”

Backstrom said the reason he wants to continue his NHL career is very simple.

“The desire to win!  I want to win. And I want to be able to decide for myself when I should quit and not be forced to quit due to injuries.”

A year ago Backstrom was asked about the possibility of finishing his playing career with Brynas, his former team in the Swedish Hockey League. Backstrom said he still hopes that will be the case. But is that plan still valid, considering the hip issues?

“Yes, but if it feels good, there is a chance. But you also have to look at it realistically. I do not want to come home in pain and not be able to contribute and play at the level I want.  We’ll see how it goes with everything.”

Thanks to Daniel Sandstrom for his assistance with this story.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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12 Responses to Nicklas Backstrom On Status Of Hip Injury: “I Really Hope It Works Out. I Still See A Bright Future”

  1. Anonymous says:

    A little more positive than on breakdown day. If he is still debating surgery this late into June. Passing on it is a real option. Something I didn’t get the sense was the case on breakdown day.

    • steven says:

      Having has 6 knee surgeries and 2 on my shoulders I know that when injured and not doing certain things the pain is not as bad. however Im sure that he has insurance that would cover his salary should he have to or want to retire. For me this is a no brainer……hipmore important than playing a game. He could etire, save his hip and still be involved in hickey via being a scout, trainer, coach as he is currently in management.

  2. novafyre says:

    I feel that he still goes the surgery route, he will do a Kuch and sit out the regular season, coming back for the playoffs. Any surgery now will really delay his return. So I think he is looking into holistic remedies, different rehab, different therapy, anything to avoid having surgery again.

    Personally, I don’t think it is going to work. But I won’t mind being proven wrong.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      I’m on board for him “Kuching” it.

      • Diane Doyle says:

        Except would the Caps make the playoffs with Nicky out for the whole season? Or might one of the kids (Connor McMichael or even Protas or Leason) take over as 2C

        • Anonymous says:

          You think the guy who took 8 faceoffs last season will be the second line center?

          • steven says:

            Unless you either put Eller there of trade for one or sign a UFa that is the choice you have…..a young guy with limited experience. On the other hand you have to start the rebuild sometime!

        • DWGie26 says:

          I think you sign (or trade for a 2C). Play CMM at 3C. Challenge will be term because you need to convince someone to sign a 1 or 2 year deal. I do think Leason or Protas will get some 1RW duty though while Wilson is out.

        • steven says:

          to me making the playofs wth or without Backy is not interesting if they continue to go out in the first round. Would it not be better to have him retire and thereby start the rebuild that is going to have to ahppen anyway in 4 years. The man has a chronic hip problem that is never going to get better with rest and rehab or even surgery. As for taking over the 2C position…..could see Eller there, if he isnt traded, or maybe lapierre or Protos befor McMichael or Leason.

  3. Esteban says:

    So do we know what the injury is? Is it degenerative? I just remember him winning the Cup and not being able to lift it because of his hip and broken finger. Tough little Swede…..get well soon Nicky.

    • steven says:

      As he had surgery on it several years ago I would sy it is degenerative and thus no matter what he does will never be whole again. Next step is probably a hip replacement which would mean no hockey. Honestly he needs to look at what is best for his body and kids and family and not the Caps.

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