Big news out of Washington today as the NHLPA plans to respond to the latest CBA offer — Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom has reportedly agreed to join KHL team Dynamo Moscow, the same team that currently employs Alex Ovechkin.
The news, first broken by Swedish news outlet SVT (Sveriges Television), comes at a very curious time.
There had been a decided lull of lockout signings in Europe with one notable player, Chicago’s Patrick Kane, saying he decided to put off signing overseas to see how the current negotiations played out.
Here’s a translation of SVT’s Backstrom piece, courtesy Japer’s Rink:
Washington’s star forward Nicklas Backstrom choose to play in the KHL and Dynamo Moscow during NHL conflict.
“I want to play hockey and this will be a fun challenge, says Backstrom to SVT sport. It was teammate Alexander Ovechkin who persuaded Backstrom choosing Dynamo.”
There may be a short-term stay in the Russian capital. The parties shall negotiate in the NHL tonight Swedish time. The employer has fallen somewhat with the hope to get the game on November 2. Players union does not seem impressed by the new bid.
Backstrom, 24, played with Swedish Elite League outfit Brynas IF at the junior and senior levels before joining Washington in 2007-08.
The hope for Dynamo would (seemingly) be that Backstrom and Ovechkin recapture the magic of their 2009-10 campaigns, when both recorded over 100 points — Ovechkin finished third in the NHL in goals (50) and Backstrom finished third in assists (68).