Nicklas Backstrom Details Surgery And Current Status: “It (Hip) Feels Good For The First Time In Years”

Photo: SportExpressen

Nicklas Bäckstrom’s hip injury and resultant surgery in June could have meant the end of his hockey playing career. But so far, that’s not the case. He’s currently preparing for his 16th season in the NHL by working hard with his personal trainer in Stockholm.

“Hockey has been my life and I don’t want to think that it will end one day. But after another operation, it feels good for the first time in years,” he said in an exclusive interview with SportExpressen.

Backstrom admitted he’s been pretty lucky with regards to injuries over the course of 15 seasons.

“Yes, I have been. I had a regular hip operation eight years ago and then felt fine for a few years. But after that it just got worse and worse. I have had problems for years…It is difficult to describe the feeling, it stings. I have had difficulty walking. Hard to put on my socks and tie my shoes. It’s been hectic and generally frustrating – to be honest,” said Backstrom.

“It’s no fun walking around in pain. I’ve been limping to the hall and even skating has been a little easier than walking. The family has had to take the hit. I couldn’t even play with the kids. It has been very tough.”

Backstrom described the surgery he had in very basic detail. He remains very optimistic he will return to the Capitals lineup this coming season.

“My hip ball was uneven, so it lay and rubbed, so it hurt. Now the hip ball is cut in half and I have like a metal shell around it, it becomes like a protection in the notch. It feels very good now. Then we’ll see how it feels when the game is at its most intense this winter. I am optimistic for the first time in many years.”

Backstrom has been thinking a lot about life after his playing career. Part of his new life includes investment businesses with fellow Swedish hockey great Peter Forsberg.

“Hockey has been everything to me for 33 of my 35 years. I have it in the back of my mind. I know that day will come. It feels unfunny that there will come a day when I can’t play anymore. At the same time, you have to be realistic. This cannot go on forever.”

Bäckström and Forsberg have both started businesses, together with a third family in Umeå, which has long been in the real estate industry. The two hockey stars entered a completely new world and they have both invested several million kroner in real estate.

“Together we have over 2,000 apartments. Mainly in Umeå, but also some in Gävle. I find that industry very interesting,” said Backstrom.

The Capitals are expected to open training camp around the third week of September, with opening night set for October 12 against the Boston Bruins at Capital One Arena. It’s extremely unlikely Backstrom will see the Capitals lineup anytime soon, but don’t count him out just yet.

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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14 Responses to Nicklas Backstrom Details Surgery And Current Status: “It (Hip) Feels Good For The First Time In Years”

  1. Anonymous says:

    He’s coming back. Count on it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why are you so optimistic? Guys like Kuch and Seguin missed more time with less serious injuries at younger ages. Partial hip replacements are very difficult to rehab from.

  2. Novafyre says:

    I would still plan on keeping him out until the playoffs.

  3. Lewis6kids says:

    That’s great, Nik – really! No none should have to live and work in pain and if yours is finally over, I’m happy for you. The Caps and all its fans owe you for years of excellent play and good sportsmanship. But the 9 million dollars the Caps will owe you next year would buy a player(s) that would help the Caps compete better than you will be able to do. One of these days Ovechkin (God bless him) isn’t going to score 50 goals – it’s going to happen. There is nobody on this team who can fill the void(s). We are in danger of being a an “also ran” for years unless we can get ahold of that money.
    I’m a Phillies baseball fan and I saw a team that was the best in MLB 2008-2011 and then literally fell off a cliff because it had been too in love with its aging superstars.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this update. You guys rock. PS, I noticed the other sites have basically been just copying your stories all weekend. All summer, too. Just wanted to let you know it’s obvious to us the readers. Keep up the great work.

  5. Anonymous says:

    He’s gonna play again. You can just feel it.

    • Franky619 says:

      Yeah let’s hope he does’nt. Time to move on.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cmon! That makes no damn sense.

        • Franky619 says:

          What makes no sense? Moving on from a bad contract? He has’nt been an impact player for a very long time and can’t even drive his own line. If he comes back this year he’s gonna hurt the team.

          • novafyre says:

            Besides the salary cap angle, giving him until April to rehab and test his abilities makes sense. If he can come back then for the playoffs, he will be fresh and probably as healed as he is going to get. He will also be an unknown to the opponents. If he can play at his high standard, then he again rehabs over the summer and then we see how training camp goes.

            If playoffs come and he’s not where he wants to be, then he can retire. I don’t see how waiting for the playoffs can hurt the team.

            However, if he tries to come back earlier, I agree with you. I don’t think an earlier comeback will help him or the team.

            • Franky619 says:

              Salary cap angle is everything, that kind of bad contract is how you ruin a team, even when healty he would’nt be worth his salary. You can’t LTIR a guy if he’s able to play so if he’s ready to come back by february they will have to make some trades. Teams don’t care if they seen him play or not, he’s not a difference maker you’re not talking about Patrick Kane or Nikita Kucherov. He can’t skate, can’t score, can’t win face off when it matters, very average playmaker and he’s not very good at winning puck battles along the board. Hope he retires.

  6. Anonymous says:

    God bless NB19

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