Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan told the media on Wednesday morning that there is no timeline on center Nicklas Backstrom’s recovery from his hip resurfacing surgery, which he underwent in Belgium on June 18. “The timeline is uncertain,” he further detailed.
However, MacLellan said that everyone is happy with the job that the doctors and surgery did for the 34-year-old.
Despite the fact that history of players that undergo a hip resurfacing do not have a very good track record of returning, MacLellan remarked that ”I think it’s [Backstrom’s] intention to come back and play this year.”
For that to happen, he added that the Capitals will monitor his recovery going forward into the season.
When asked about how those plans will impact their offseason and salary cap, MacLellan responded ”The salary cap is the salary cap. We have to count on [Backstrom] coming back at some point. … What we can do is give opportunities to our young guys. … We expect [Protas] to take the next jump. We’re going to look to fill that from within first and go from there. It’s not like we can get a $9 million player. Until [we’re told otherwise], we’re planning on him coming back.”
On left-wing Carl Hagelin, who did not play after February 28 last season and underwent surgery on his left eye on March 6, MacLellan said ”I think so” when asked if he is on track to be ready for the start the season. He added that the final determination on that will come in August and the Capitals will have to wait until then.
By Harrison Brown