When Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom signed a five-year, $46 million extension with Washington on Wednesday, many did not expect the 32-year-old to land a deal with that high ($9.2 million) of an average annual value (AAV).
So when Brian MacLellan introduced Backstrom during Wednesday’s congratulatory press conference, the Capitals general manager decided to play along with a joke of his own about the extension.
“My only concern going forward is that maybe [Alex Ovechkin] might hire Nick to do his next contract,” MacLellan said.
Ovechkin is in the second-to-last year of the 13-year, $124 million deal he signed back with the team in 2008. The great No. 8 will be 35 years old when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2021. Although it’s hard to imagine him playing anywhere else, Ovechkin will have many suitors should he reach free agency.
Backstrom, who was set to be a free agent at the end of the season, has spent all 13 years of his NHL career in the nation’s capital. He was in the final year of a 10-year, $67 million deal he signed with the Capitals in 2010.
The Capitals’ all-time assist leader said negotiations weren’t easy, but he’s happy with his new deal.
“[MacLellan] made it hard on me sometimes,” Backstrom said. “But at the same time, I think overall the deal is pretty fair. Without my calculator there the first couple meetings too, so I was a little rusty. After a while, I got going.”
It’s impossible to imagine the Capitals without both Ovechkin and Backstrom on the ice, and this contract extension guarantees at least one more year of that.
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Source: Yahoo Sports