Nicklas Backstrom signs five-year, $46 million extension to stay with Capitals
Backstrom is the franchise's all-time leader in assists
Nicklas Backstrom will be sticking around with the Capitals beyond this season. The Caps announced Tuesday morning that they have agreed to a five-year, $46 million extension with the veteran center, keeping him under contract in Washington through 2024-2025.
Backstrom's extension, which kicks in after this season, will carry an average annual value of $9.2 million and make him the ninth-highest paid center in the NHL. The 32-year-old entered the league in 2007 and has spent his entire career in Washington, where he's the all-time franchise leader in assists (668) and the only player not named Alex Ovechkin to record 900 points.
He's been a consistent and integral playmaker in Washington for years, frequently playing alongside Ovechkin to create one of the league's most fearsome and productive tandems. Backstrom has led Washington in assists in seven of the past 12 years and he's the only player in the NHL who has at least 50 assists in each of the last six seasons. He's also the only player with at least 20 goals and 50 assists in the each of the last four seasons.
Throughout this season, Backstrom expressed a desire to remain in Washington and began negotiating a possible extension without the help of an agent. Now, he's gotten the job done himself and can remain comfortable with the Caps.
Here's how the contract breaks down:
It's a significant price to pay for a player through his age-38 season but the Capitals clearly wanted to extend their Cup window and avoid losing Backstrom for nothing in free agency. They'll keep a key core piece and a fan favorite around, even if it means they have to make adjustments around him.
With Backstrom's cap hit jumping from $6.7 million to $9.2 million next season, the Capitals may need to reshuffle some roster pieces over the summer. The new deal for Backstrom likely means the end for Braden Holtby in Washington, as the veteran goaltender is currently in the final year of his contract. Ovechkin will also likely be looking for an extension as he plays out the final year of his current contract next season.
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