NHL News: Nicklas Backstrom expects to return, Bryan Marchment passes away at 53

Nicklas Backstrom
Feb 1, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) stretches on the ice to warm up before the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom intends to play next season after undergoing hip surgery last month, general manager Brian MacLellan said Wednesday.

MacLellan said there is no timeline for Backstrom’s return

Backstrom, 34, has three seasons remaining on a five-year, $46 million contract. The cap hit is $9.2 million, per Spotrac.

Nicklas Backstrom expect to return

Backstrom underwent left hip resurfacing surgery on June 17, with the team declaring at the time that he would “begin his rehabilitation and lengthy recovery process.”

The 34-year-old Swede missed the first two months of this past season due to troubles with the hip. He also had surgery on the hip in 2015.

“I think everybody is happy, the trainers and doctors, with the surgery, the results of the surgery,” MacLellan said Wednesday via NHL.com. “I think it’s Nick’s intention to come back and play at some point this year and the timeline of that will be uncertain, to be determined as his recovery comes. We’ll monitor that as we go forward and make a decision down the line during the season.”

Backstrom recorded 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) in 47 games in 2021-22.

He has 1,011 points (264 goals, 747 assists) in 1,058 career games since the Capitals selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft.

As far as an expensive replacement like trading for J.T Miller or trying to sign Nazem Kadri, the Caps have other plans.

“The anticipation is Nick’s coming back at some point, so it’s not that you can use that space,” MacLellan said. “We’re going to look to fill it from within first and then go from there after that.”

Bryan Marchment passes away at 53

Former first-round pick and longtime NHL defenseman Bryan Marchment died suddenly, the San Jose Sharks announced Wednesday. He was 53.

The club did not release a cause of death. Marchment, a scout for the Sharks for the last 15 years, was in Montreal for the NHL draft. He spent parts of six seasons with the Sharks as a player, his longest tenure with any team in his well-traveled career.

“Bryan’s lifelong love of hockey was unparalleled, and he was amongst the most dedicated, physical, and fiercest players to ever play the game,” the Sharks posted to Twitter.

Marchment was selected No. 16 overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1987 draft and played in parts of 17 seasons in the NHL.

He finished his playing career with 182 points (40 goals, 142 assists) and 2,307 penalty minutes in 926 games with nine teams, including the Jets (1988-91) and Sharks (1997-2003). He also played three-plus seasons with Edmonton (1994-98).

The Scarborough, Ontario, native is survived by wife, Kim, and two children, Mason and Logan.

–Field Level Media