ARLINGTON, VA–The Capitals continued their player-run practices and had a terrific surprise when Nicklas Backstrom took the ice for the first time. Backstrom suffered a neck injury on December 26th and flew to Michigan last Wednesday to see Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher at the University of Michigan who specializes in concussions.
“No concussion. So we can all be calm,” Backstrom said.
Backstrom added that he’s “100 percent” and is planning on being in the line-up for opening night.
Backstrom, who missed 40 games last year due to a concussion, said today was the first time he skated since December 26th and that the injury was more neck.
“Feels good to be back here and practice on ice again,” Backstrom said.
Veteran defenseman Roman Hamrlik also skated for the first time today and was very happy to see Backstrom skate today.
“He’s one of the best players on the team and we need him desperately,” Hamrlik said. “It’s a big thing to have him.”
Hamrlik also talked about his anti-NHLPA comments during the lockout and the negative feedback he received from his teammates.
“I said what I had to say. It’s past.”
Hamrlik added, “Everybody was frustrated. I think I was the most frustrated guy going through the third lockout.”
Hamrlik also said that there is “no problem” between him and Troy Brouwer. Brouwer was the most public with his displeasure to Hamrlik’s comments.
The Caps who skated today were: Holtby, Backstrom, Hamrlik, Johansson, Hendricks, Chimera, Hillen, Poti, Perreault, Brouwer, Ward, Crabb, Schilling, Ribeiro, Schultz.
These practices aren’t mandatory and Mike Green didn’t skate for the second day in a row.
Alzner, Beagle, Carlson, Ovechkin, Erskine all didn’t skate today either.
Brooks Laich skated for approximately an hour before the player run workout for the second day in a row.
Listen here to what Nicklas Backstrom & Roman Hamrlik had to say following practice today.
Nicklas Backstrom Practice Audio
Roman Hamrlik Practice Audio