Backstrom Signs Five-Year, $46 Million Contract with Capitals
The fourth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft wants to continue playing for the team that drafted him - and it looks like he has no plans of paying for any other team.
Nicklas Backstrom signed a five-year, $46 million contract with the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. It has an average annual value of $9.2 million. He would have become an unrestricted free agent by July 1 but the 32-year-old player said that he had no intention of playing on any other team. ‘You are recognized when you are with the same team for a long time and that is what I want to be’, Backstrom said. ‘I am a born and raised Capital and that is where I want to finish. I couldn't see myself in another jersey and I don't want to play for another team, so fortunately, very fortunate to be able to sign a new contract’.
Backstrom, who negotiated his own contract, is in the final year of his 10-year long, $67 million contract which he signed back in May 2010. His new contract will see him play until the end of the 2024/25 NHL season when he’ll be 37 years old. In the current season, he has 35 points in 39 games played. The Capital’s general manager, Brian MacLellan, said that he believes Backstrom will continue to be a top player because of his style of play.
‘He's a player that thinks the game well’, MacLellan said. ‘His game is not based on speed. It's more being in the right spot, making the right play, reading what's going on on the ice. He's in the right spots, understands the game, understands how to make players better. He's a playmaker, he's a first power-play guy. I think those skills that he has age well and he'll be able to produce in his late 30s’.
The player also said that when his contract expires, he has no intention of retiring. ‘But I mean, it is a good start’, he said. ‘We will see what the team wants after that’. He was selected by the Capitals as the fourth pick in the 2006 NHL Draft. He is second in the team’s history of scoring with 908 points in 934 games. He is also the team’s all-time leader in assists.
Words: Carlos Corpus