The Washington Capitals off-season is now going full force, with many of the players currently on vacation with family and friends, and even a few players already returning to workouts for the upcoming season. The down time has allowed time to heal, and for some, time to reflect on the last 12 months.
Capitals centerman Nicklas Backstrom, who’s currently vacationing with his family in Halkidiki, Greece, has had some time to reflect on his last 12 months and shared his thoughts in a recent interview with . for Gefle Dagblad
“It’s been tough mentally, if I’m being completely honest. But I have spoken to others who have had this operation, I actually fished out tennis player Andy Murray’s number and spoke to him, he has been able to continue playing,” Backstrom told Gefle Dagblad.
“We had a good conversation and he told me that this particular operation was successful for him. It felt good to hear.”
Backstrom told Sandstrom he still has the desire to play and to prove that he can still play at an elite level.
“I want to prove that I can play at a high level even after what I’ve been through,” said Backstrom. “It’s the love of hockey. I don’t feel ready to stop and still think it’s right to keep going. I want to prove that I can play at a high level even after what I’ve been through,” he said.
Backstrom spent the first half of last season rehabbing from his hip surgery, which didn’t allow for the usual preparations for the start of an NHL Season. He’s looking forward to returning to a normal prepati9n for the upcoming season.
“Now I can look forward to playing, and for once, training for real during a pre-season and being part of the training camp with the team and not just doing rehab training and then coming in in the middle of the season, as has been the case for a few years now,” said Bäckström.
Backstrom, who had his hip surgery in June of 2022, says he feels much better 12 months later. He’s even joking about the new parts in his hip.
“I can do everything now. I have to go through security at airports a few extra times, there are beeps everywhere and I have to explain that I have metal legs,” he grins.
For Backstrom and his family, a summer awaits in Gävle, his hometown in Sweden.
“The children are very Americanized, of course, because they have lived there all their lives except in the summers when we are home. The youngest girl prefers not to speak Swedish, she answers in English when we speak Swedish to her. But they get into it pretty quickly when we get home anyway.”
As for Swedish hockey fans, particularly those in Bäckström’s hometown area, the question remains, will he return to play for Brynas someday?
“So, I can’t stand here and promise things that will happen in the future. But what I can say is that I have a dream to play in Brynäs,” said Backstrom.
“Now I’m fresh in my body. But at the same time, you’re not 19 anymore. I have to take a year at a time now at this age. If it happens, it happens. But I have a dream about it,” says Bäckström, who is 35 years old.
By Jon Sorensen