To make space for him, the Caps sent down Aliaksei Protas to the Hershey Bears.
Backstrom is coming back from hip resurfacing surgery. Wilson is coming back from offseason ACL surgery. The Caps also announced that John Carlson is on long term injured reserve. This also clears up cap room for Backstrom.
Last season Backstrom’s numbers were career lows as he was dealing with a hip injury basically all season. That’s why he underwent that surgery over the summer when the season ended.
In 47 games Backstrom finished with six goals and 25 assists for 31 points. It’s a bit of a drop off from 15 goals and 38 assists for 53 points in 55 games during the NHL’s COVID shortened 2021 season.
Last season was Wilson’s best season statistically. He had 24 goals and 28 assists for 52 points. His 98 penalty minutes were the third lowest in his career. He also had 55 blocked shots and 240 hits.
Capitals Head Coach Peter Laviolette told the media after practice on Wednesday about the process of Backstrom and Wilson’s recoveries:
"“Going back to last year, he was like, ‘I’ll be back. He had it in his mind that he was going to play again, and he was adamant about that. … There are good days and bad days inside an injury, and [Backstrom and Wilson] were really dedicated to try and come back and help this team and have an impact.”"
Wilson hurt himself in Game 1 of last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs against the Florida Panthers. After surgery, Wilson’s expected recovery time was six to eight months. He could’ve came back a month ago but the team didn’t want to rush him.
With the way the Caps started the season out compared to now, things are looking up. They are starting to win games and now 19 and 43 will be back in the lineup on Sunday night.