Capitals’ GM MacLellan On Backstrom: ”I Think It’s His Intention To Come Back And Play This Year”

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

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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12 Responses to Capitals’ GM MacLellan On Backstrom: ”I Think It’s His Intention To Come Back And Play This Year”

  1. novafyre says:

    I would plan on keeping Nicky out of the regular season with a comeback no sooner than the playoffs.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Encouraging update, considering where we were prior.

  3. steven says:

    As much as I like backy I truly believe that there comes a time when a player needs to look at his medical history and think about the future rather than a game. In the grand scheme of thinks his hips are more important than playing a game. As this team just barely made the playoffs last year with him what makes anyone think they would make it without him all season. People say trade or sign a UFA; I ask why? Let Lapierre or McMichael fight it out for the spot. See what our young talent can do and rather than draft the best player draft for need and this need has a lot of needs. As far as Hagelin goes, take care of your eye and take your retirement. The Caps have several younger players who can take his spot and they need to get younger and faster and have players who are a threat to score not just put the puck on net. Wish both men well but for me Thanks for what you ahve done but please go home and ;ive your life after hockey without permanently hurting yourself.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Happy to hear Hags eye is okay – bummer to hear that we are expecting him back for the start of the season. Would much rather see AJF in that position.

  5. Franky619 says:

    Worst thing that could happen.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Rest Nicky!

  7. DWGie26 says:

    I think it is a lot harder than some of you think for a player to just say, I’m going to hang it up. They have done this their entire life. Traveling all over the place, living in hotels, morning skates, and then as pros you reach the highest level and that doesn’t just happen. They made sacrifices, worked hard, got to the NHL, stayed in the NHL, played hurt, missed birth of their kids, and all kinds of sacrifices most don’t make. They aren’t going to go off quietly because fans want the cap space or younger players in the lineup. They are competitors and they will fight until they can’t. Will either of them play another game for Caps… don’t know. But i do know they will both try and if they can’t, then it is over… not before. And management is clearly supporting that (as they should).

  8. Anonymous says:

    i just met some swedes who play rec hockey with backy and they said he will not be back. not sure if they are 100% reliable, but they do have insider knowledge

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