As we here at Dc Pro Sports Report guessed from the onset, the 'significant player announcement' by the Washington Capitals tomorrow at 10:00 Am is likely a long term contract extension with Nicklas Backstrom. Sources close to the NHL report it is indeed a Backstrom long term deal.
Backstrom, slated to become a restricted free agent July 1, had a career-high 101 points (33-68) and a plus-37 rating in 82 regular-season games this season, his third in the NHL.
The Capitals have scheduled a news conference Monday for a "significant player-related announcement."
Given the fact the Stanley Cup playoffs are still ongoing, a trade or free agent signing was not possible. Combine that with reports during the season of amicable discussions between the Capitals and Backstrom's agent, it wasn't hard to figure out what the 'major' announcement would be. Unlike fellow Cap Alexander Semin, who has not had the smoothest of negotiations, reports surrounding Backstrom talks were also reported to be moving in the right direction for a long term deal.
Backstrom has increased him numbers after debuting as a Cap in 2006/07. This year though took Backstrom out of the picture as Alex Ovechkin's centerman, to Nicklas Backstrom, the superstar himself.
Backstrom finished this season with 101 points. Overall in the NHL, Backtrom finished 4th overall in points (101), 3rd overall in assists (68), 4th overall in +/- with +36, and 4th overall in Power Play assists (26).
This season more than ever, Backtrom took the huge step out of Ovechkin's shadow and proved his worth. I will even go out so fra as to say that Backstrom may very well be even more valuable to the Capitals overall success than Ovechkin. Why? How? Bottom line is this. The Capitals have tons of skaters that can score goals. When Alex Ovechkin is out, the Caps still score, and in many cases, score more. But, if Backstrom is out, the Capitals are missing much more than just scoring. They are missing the best passer in the NHL and a great setup man. Backstrom create so many scoring opportunities not just for himself, but others.
Sources close to the situation say the deal is reportedly in the high $6 million range.