Now that goaltender Michal Neuvirth has jumped to the Czech League and Alex Ovechkin is on the brink of signing with the KHL, is it only a matter of time before Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom returns to his native Sweden to play?
Im looking for some options, but well see, Backstrom said Tuesday after a 90-minute skate attended by six other teammates at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. It has to be the right thing, too.
I have my home team back in Sweden Brynas of the Swedish Elite League and there are a couple of other options. But well see what happens. A lot of things have to click before I go.
As of now, the Swedish Elite League is only offering full-season contracts to locked-out NHL players. Because of that, no NHL players have signed deals with the SEL. There is public sentiment in Sweden to lift that provision and allow NHL players to play there until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached.
Backstrom said he wants to see if there may be progress in those negotiations before committing himself to playing in Sweden.
If a lockout is going to be longer than Christmas then obviously you have to play somewhere, Backstrom said. Everybody is saying different things. I can only tell you my own thoughts and I think its going to be until November.