The Capitals have signed veteran center Nicklas Backstrom to a five-year, $46 million contract extension, the club announced Tuesday.
The Swedish veteran’s new contract will have a $9.2 million salary-cap hit beginning next season, which is a substantial raise. Backstrom has played the last decade on a team-friendly contract with a cap hit of only $6.7 million.
Backstrom has established himself as one of the top set-up and shutdown forwards in the league since being drafted fourth overall in the 2006 draft. The 32-year-old center forward is having a solid season thus far for the NHL-leading Capitals after beginning this season with 9 goals and 26 assists in 39 games. Backstrom, the franchise’s assist leader at 668, looks to be on pace for a seventh straight 50 assist season.
On top of his regular season success, Backstrom has also been a major contributor in the playoffs, registering 36 goals and 70 assists in 123 postseason games. He was also a key piece in Washington’s lone Stanley Cup win with 23 points in just 20 games during the 2017-2018 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Now that Brian McLellan has re-signed an integral part of the team’s core, fans can only hope that Holtby, who’s contract is set to expire this year, remains a Capital as well.