The NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs are over far too soon for Nicklas Backstrom and the Washington Capitals once again. Today, the 29 year-old centerman confirmed that he’ll be heading to Europe to join team Sweden for the IIHF World Championships.
Surprisingly, Backstrom has only represented Sweden at the World Championships once before, winning gold in 2006. He was also a member Sweden’s silver medal winning team in 2014, but was banned from playing in the gold medal game against team Canada because of an alleged doping violation. Backstrom was exonerated of any wrongdoing and awarded his silver medal following the games, but there’s no doubt that his absence was felt by his countrymen as they fell to Canada 3-0.
As for the Capitals’ failure, Backstrom didn’t mince words, saying that “Obviously it's not working” and “it’s been terrible.” Those are some unexpectedly candid statements from such a usually reserved individual. Hopefully he can end his season of strong by bringing home a medal for team Sweden.