Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Backstrom Ready To Cross The Pond?

Despite Dave Fay's fear-mongering to the contrary, it looks as if Caps' uber-prospect Nick Backstrom is ready to begin his NHL career next fall.

According to a translation of this Swedish paper:

Nicklas Backstrom and Anton Stralman have both decided they will be playing in the NHL next season. The negotiations with both NHL clubs started yesterday.

"That’s right," says agent Gunnar Svensson, "Both players have given me the 'go-ahead' to begin negotiations with their respective NHL-teams." Brynas and Timra (the duo’s previous clubs) received word yesterday that they will not be getting their young superstars/talents back for another season.

"It could be as quick as days or it could take months for negotiations to be finalized but seeing as the interest from Washington (Backstrom) and Toronto (Stralman) is huge, I'm pretty confident that we’ll reach an agreement soon, says Gunnar Svensson (agent of both players)."

Take it with the requisite grain of salt, but if true this is obviously great news. Given the relative ease of entry-level contract negotiations, there would be no reason not to expect Backstrom in Caps camp in the fall.

Hat tip to HD89 on the translation and ComebackKono3 on the link.


Unknown said...

Backstrom has GMGM over a barrel too. Everyone knows he HAS to be here next year. He's a key part of The Plan.

JP said...

What barrel? Rookie deals are all boiler-plate under the new CBA. Negotiations go like this:

GM: Here's what Jordan Staal got. Here's what Phil Kessel got. Here's what we can do for you, Nick.

NB: Deal.


1) Nice job on getting some facts on Backstrom instead of the hearsay from a guy who SHOULD have the facts!
2) If he wants to be in D.C. he will be there. Contract discussions for rookies are like JP said, quick and easy. He'll largely get the same deal that all the other 1st rounders in his class recieved
3) Next, the key will to acquire a real 1st line center so the pressure is realistic on the kid. Finally some good news in Cap-land!

Abhinav said...

Yeah, this is great news. If we can acquire a first line center, I'm not sure we need another RW.

Ovy - Free - Clark
Semin - Backis - Someone
Someone - Muffins - Pettinger

To be honest, I like Clark on the top line. He's tough, he'll help protect Ovy, and he's clearly capable of scoring 30 (even though he missed a bunch of time this year).

Maybe I'm being unrealistic.

JP said...

I think my "dream" lines for next year would be:

Ovechkin - Drury/Gomez - Zubrus
Semin - Backstrom - Fleischmann/Fehr
Pettinger - Sutherby - Clark
Brashear - Muffins - Laich

Zubie will come crawling back to D.C. after flaming out in B'lo and beg for a 3 year/$9m deal.

I wouldn't mind seeing Sudsy gone either, with Laich as the third-line pivot.

Anonymous said...

*snarling* And I would've gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids and that dog!

Anonymous said...

Semin has been looking great so far as a RW so I figure the balance of the season will prove this an option or not.

JP said...

Tarik's got confirmation on Backstrom negotiations.

Abhinav said...

JP, isn't Gordo suited for our 3rd (i.e. checking) line? Hasn't he been filling that role this whole year?

A little hard to make out the details on my slingbox (especially now that it won't work). I need to get me some center ice...

JP said...

It's hard to say with the cluster-F of third-line centers the Caps have had all year. Basically, it's been Beech, Laich, Suts, Gordo and Novotny taking turns in the third/fourth line center spot (sorry I forgot Novo-Flop earlier... second time today).

Ideally, I think it'll depend on who they're playing and where - in a game where you need to shut down one line and get the last change, Gordo's probably out there with Petty and Clark (or whoever). In a game where matchups aren't as important or easy to stick to (i.e. road games), he probably is on the fourth line, obviously PKing regardless.

Bottom line: the Caps have a log jam at center on their bottom two lines. Something's got to give.

Anonymous said...

jp those are my lines for next year exactly except switch gordon and sutherby

Anonymous said...

except i forgot about novotny on purpose. maybe theres a spot for him in hershey