Nicklas Backstrom suddenly leaves the Capitals!

Nicklas Backstrom suddenly leaves the Capitals!




Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom played just a few days ago against the San Jose Sharks. However, on Wednesday, he announced via the team that he is leaving the club and stepping away from the game at this time for an unspecified period of time while dealing with the effects of last year's hip surgery.

“Given my ongoing injury situation, I decided to take some time and step away from the game. This is a difficult decision, but one that I feel is right for my health at this time. I want to thank my teammates, the organization, and fans for their unwavering support throughout this process. I ask for privacy at this time as I determine my next steps and viable options moving forward.”

Nicklas Backstrom

General manager Brian MacLellan also released a statement when Backstrom announced his pause from professional hockey and the ongoing 2023-24 NHL season:

“We stand behind Nicklas and will support him throughout this process. We know first-hand how hard he has worked and how determined he is to get back to full health. Our organization stands fully behind him while he takes his leave of absence from the team and takes time to evaluate his current health situation.”

This is quite tough to see. When the current season got underway, Backstrom had already mentioned how he was sick and tired of talking about his surgically repaired left hip. However, the hip appears to have more to say... 

Backstrom, who turns 36 this month, came back to training camp despite GM McLellan previously saying this summer that his star forward was “going to have to make a decision on his career where he thinks he’s at.” This might be where Backstrom stands at the moment.

There was never any indication on Backstrom’s end that he was considering retirement, but it may be different after today's announcement.

It is not only a tough blow for Backstrom, but for the Capitals as well. Backstrom is the Capitals’ all-time assists leader and has recorded 1,033 points (271g, 762a) in 1,105 career games with Washington. Backstrom ranks second in franchise history in points, games played, power-play points (421) and overtime goals (9), and fourth in goals, power-play goals (86) and game-winning goals (39).

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Source: Capitals