Nicklas Backstrom

Nicklas Backstrom’s (neck) status for camp is a mystery


Nicklas Backstrom rejoined his Capitals’ teammates, but he didn’t take part in their workout Tuesday morning, according to the Washington Post.

The 25-year-old center suffered a neck injury while playing for Dynamo Moscow of the KHL on Dec. 26 and getting an update on his status is easier said than done.

“There are some things we can talk about, some things we can’t, and we can’t talk about the fitness or health of any players until training camp,” Capitals GM George McPhee said. “I’d be happy then.”

Alex Ovechkin was also a member of Dynamo Moscow during the lockout and he’s free to talk. Unfortunately, his report only raised more questions.

“I think he’s doing well,” Ovechkin said. “It was not a dirty [hit] than was before. But sometimes it’s not hard hit, you just feel a little dizzy. We’ll see how it goes.”

Backstrom was sidelined for 40 contests in 2011-12 due to a concussion, so it’s concerning to hear that one of his symptoms is dizziness.

About a week ago, Backstrom’s Swedish agent, Gunnar Svensson, said his client was day-to-day and “maybe week-to-week.”

Backstrom had 10 goals and 25 points in 19 KHL contests, which put him behind just Ovechkin in the team’s scoring race despite the fact that the Gavle, Sweden-native hasn’t participated in most of the team’s games.

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
1 Comment

Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
Leave a comment

Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.