Nicklas Backstrom is stepping away from the game for now

Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports /

Whether Washington Capitals fans want to admit it or not, the end of the Rock the Red era is near. On the first day of November the Capitals and Nicklas Backstrom announced that the longtime center is stepping away from the game. At least, for the time being before any further decision on his future gets made.

Nicklas Backstrom said in a press release from the Caps:

"“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.”"

In that same press release, Capitals general manger Brian MacLellan added:

"“We stand behind Nicklas and will support him throughout this process. We know firsthand 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.”"

Backstrom is the Capitals’ all time leader in assists. He has recorded 1,033 points with 271 goals and 762 assists in 1,105 games with Washington. He ranks second in franchise history in points, games played, power play points with 421, and overtime goals with nine.

Backstrom is also fourth in goals, power play goals with 86, and game winning goals with 39. He’s one of two players in franchise history to play in 1,000 games with the Caps and record 1,000 points.

We all know who that other player is which is Alex Ovechkin and during the 2006 NHL Draft it was Ovechkin at the podium announcing the Caps selected Backstrom with the fourth overall pick in the first round.

This is truly sad times. When you think of a playmaker who always provides the assists when it comes to the Capitals fans always think of Backstrom.

Backstrom appeared in eight games this season and recorded one assist. The fact he even was on the ice to start the season was truly amazing in itself. He wanted to play and he showed the new coaching staff that he deserved a spot on the opening night roster.

Related Story. A look back at October 2023 for the Capitals. light

Whatever Backstrom decides to do with his future, he will always be remembered in DC. That will never get taken away from him and neither will that 2018 Stanley Cup that he and Ovechkin worked so hard to achieve. We at Stars and Sticks pray for Backstrom’s health and support him in whatever he decides to do.