The Washington Capitals have received some very bad news in the form of their star center; Nicklas Backstrom has recently undergone hip resurfacing surgery. The surgery was done on Backstrom’s left hip, which was first operated on in 2015. He missed the first two months of the 2021-22 season due to an injury to that same hip.
According to http://my.clevelandclinic.org, hip resurfacing is a type of hip replacement surgery that involves removing bone and cartilage from the affected hip. The site goes on to say that a full, unrestricted activity recovery takes twelve months. Given the fact that Backstrom is thirty-four years old and has already had injuries and surgeries to his left hip, this could be a potentially career-ending surgery.
Nicklas Backstrom has played his entire career with the Washington Capitals, the team that drafted him in the first round with the fourth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. In 1,058 regular-season games, Backstrom has scored 1,011 points, while in 139 career playoff games, he has 114 points. He has also formed one of the National Hockey League’s most formidable duos with Alexander Ovechkin and was instrumental in the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup in 2018.
The loss of Backstrom leaves a gaping hole in the Washington Capitals lineup. It will most likely force the Capitals to make a move to bolster their center depth or entrust one of Lars Eller, Nic Dowd, or a youngster like Connor McMichael with more ice time in the team’s top-six group of forwards.
Nicklas Backstrom has three seasons remaining on his current contract, which carries a salary-cap hit of $9.2 million AAV. The Capitals will most likely put him on LTIR and have nearly $9 million in salary cap this offseason with both of their goaltenders (Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek) along with notables Marcus Johansson, Justin Schultz, and Michal Kempny needing new contracts.