It was another encouraging sight at Medstar Capitals Iceplex Friday morning as Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom and right-wing Tom Wilson skated before and participated in the team’s morning skate.
That’s Tom Wilson (ACL surgery) and Nicklas Backstrom (hip surgery) in non-contact jerseys warning up before the Capitals morning skate. First time for Wilson. Backstom has done twice before pic.twitter.com/tWnVlGEo63
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) December 9, 2022
On December 4, general manager Brian MacLellan said that Backstrom is “progressing well.” “There’s been no setbacks, so it’s positive. I don’t know where it ends up, but everything’s been positive so far.”
“Tom’s good too,” he added about Wilson but said there is no exact timetable for return. “We’ll get a better picture here in the next few weeks…mid-December, I think we’ll have a pretty good idea of where both those guys are at.”
Head coach Peter Laviolette spoke about Wilson and Backstrom’s skating following morning skate, saying, “This is a next step. We’ve been gone for a while, so we come home and see the guys have advanced too…a lot of good work with [strength and conditioning coach] Mark Nemish here, both off-ice and on-ice, and this is the next step of progression, so it’s really good to have them out there.”
The presence of Wilson and Backstrom boosts team morale, according to Laviolette. “I think it’s good for morale when you start to see players…who have such an impact on the team, and they’re back, and they’re working…both trying to put themselves in a position where they can come back and help out our team.”
The Capitals host the Seattle Kraken Friday night. Action from Capital One Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington+ in-market or ESPN+ out-of-market starting at 7 PM ET.
By Della Young