NHL Rumors: Capitals' Backstrom Likely Done for the Season

The Washington Capitals are reportedly operating as if Nicklas Backstrom is out for the season. This comes from Tarik El-Bashir via The Athletic as the team isn't expecting the 34-year-old Backstrom to be able to suit up this season.

One situation which seems quite likely at this point is to have Backstrom rehab from his surgery throughout the regular season and make his return to the Caps lineup for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when of course, the salary cap doesn't come into play.

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Washington is expected to move Backstrom to the LTIR once the season begins, creating roughly $3 million in cap space as the team is currently over the cap. El-Bashir had this to say on the matter:
If Backstrom is able to return next season — and let’s be honest, that feels like a huge “if” at this point — it would create an immediate logjam at center, assuming Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dylan Strome, Lars Eller and Nic Dowd are all healthy. So that’s probably where GM Brian MacLellan would likely look to create room.

Expect to see the Capitals in the market for another center as the team has Stanley Cup aspirations this upcoming season.

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