Nicklas Backstrom Gives Back To Gavle And Valbo, Sweden


It’s been a busy off-season so far for Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom. He first underwent surgery on his left hip on June 17 at the ANCA Clinic in Belgium. After a few days of recovery he was then spotted for the first time post-surgery at former teammate Christian Djoos’ wedding on July 10.  Then, just this past weekend, Backstrom married longtime girlfriend and fiancé, Lisa Berg, in a ceremony in Ekerö, Sweden.

Bäckström was born and raised in Valbo, Sweden, just outside Gävle. He brought the Stanley Cup to the area back in 2018 when he had his personal day with the Stanley Cup. You may also recall that the local ice arena in Valbo was renamed “NickBack Arena” after Backstrom assumed full financial responsibility for the facility on August 28th, 2011. Backstrom also donated his entire earnings from Sweden’s Gold Medal in the 2017 World Championships to the local arena.

Now the NHL star is making another fine gesture for his hometown.

Just Ask!

A group of 15-year-olds in the Gavle area have organized a day of sport and activities, to take place on July 31 at a campsite in nearby Engesberg. The idea behind the event is that there are many kids who cannot afford trips, hockey camps or expensive equipment.

“Not everyone can afford to go around the world on summer vacation, but everyone can participate in this,” said Wilgot Olsson, one of the event organizers.

The kids have been vigorously promoting the local event in recent weeks. Then came the idea to attract Swedish hockey stars to event.


The boys managed to attract Bäckström, as well as NHL stars Calle Järnkrok, Elias Lindholm and Nicklas Danielsson.

And all the kids had to do was ask.

“They live out here and we met him (Backstrom) when they were here eating ice cream. So it was just a matter of asking,” said one of the event organizers, Vilmer Mossnelid, to Gefle Dagblad.

No Hesitation

Bäckström didn’t hesitate when asked about supporting the event.

“It is a good initiative by the boys and they have worked hard for this. It’s nice that a few things are happening out here,” he told the newspaper.

There is no estimation on when Backstrom and his family will break camp in Sweden and head back to the US. Backstrom is expected to miss a significant portion, if not all of the 2021-22 regular season, in order to recover from his hip surgery.

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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10 Responses to Nicklas Backstrom Gives Back To Gavle And Valbo, Sweden

  1. Marky says:

    Off topic, but why isn’t Daniel Sprong signed yet?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good bless Nicklas Backstrom.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This guy is the epitome of humility. A trait which the overwhelming majority of modern athletes do not possess. I would LOVE to meet this guy and just have a beer and chat. So down to earth and not about #19 but about everyone else. Cheers to this fella!

  4. Anonymous says:

    What an amazing person, draft pick and player.

  5. DWGie26 says:

    I think Ted and management feels the same way and that is why he was rewarded with his 9.2M contract for a long term. It’s a gesture towards one of the good guys. Obviously nobody knew his hip injury would derail his career so quickly. Hope he makes it back to the ice at a high(ish) level and can finish on his own terms even if he doesn’t run out his entire contract.

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