This morning the Washington Capitals announced that they have signed center Nicklas Backstrom to a five year, $46 million contract extension that will guarantee that he will be with the Capitals through the 2024-25 season.
Backstrom, 32, leads the Capitals franchise in assists with 668, and is one of two players in Capitals franchise history to record 900 points with the team. Backstrom is also the only active player to record six consecutive seasons with at least 50 assists.
Going into this season it was well known that Backstrom was entering the last year of his ten year deal, and that he had made it known that he would love to retire as a Washington Capital. We also learned earlier this season that he had fired his agent, and that he would be negotiating for himself this time around. It added a lot of intrigue to the negotiations, and it made things clear that Backstrom wanted to remain with the Capitals.
As for the contract itself, the Annual Average Value (AAV) for Backstrom’s five year deal will be $9.2 million per season, and will see a total of $25 million of the $46 million be signing bonus money. Backstrom will also have a full no-move clause for the first three years of the deal, and for the final two Backstrom will have a limited no-trade where he will be able to name the 15 teams he would not want to be traded to.
One of the interesting notes was that it ended up being a five year deal instead of a four year deal. With knowledge that next season will be the last year of Alex Ovechkin’s 13 year contract, one would have expected that Backtrom would sign a four year deal, and Ovechkin with a three year deal. Backstrom’s five year deal obviously changes things as now we could potentially see Ovechkin sign a four year contract that would keep him in a Capitals uniform longer, and still see both Backstrom and Ovechkin ride off into the sunset together in 2025.
Overall the contract is a good contract for Backstrom and the Capitals. The Capitals get to keep a franchise player, and Backstrom gets to spend the rest of his career with the Capitals as he wished.
* Feature Graphic Courtesy of the Washington Capitals.