Todd Reirden feels strongly new Backstrom contract 'will get worked out'

Chris Lingebach
November 27, 2019 - 1:44 pm

Amid reports the Capitals are negotiating a new contract with impending free agent Nicklas Backstrom, coach Todd Reirden tells 106.7 The Fan, "I feel strongly that something will get worked out."

Backstrom, 32, has been paired with Alex Ovechkin as the lifeblood of the Caps organization for 13 seasons. On the Caps since the 2007-08 season, Backstrom signed a 10-year extension in May 2010, locking him in as Ovechkin's on-ice partner for the next decade, on a deal that's set to expire after the 2019-20 season.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported over the weekend that Backstrom and the Capitals have begun contract negotiations, and that Backstrom is doing so without an agent.

On Tuesday, GM Brian MacLellan would neither confirm nor deny if those negotiations existed, but told reporters, "We want him back. He's a big part of our organization and we're going to do whatever we can to get him back."

"Business is business," MacLellan later told NBC Sports Washington. "But this is a little more than business."

Reirden was asked about said negotiations during his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies Wednesday morning, presented by Sheehy Auto Stores.

Asked about reports that Backstrom's negotiating a new contract sans agent, Reirden said, "I try to stay out of that side of things. I'm working with him on how to do something different on a face-off play, or different looks we can have on the power play, or different things we can do with our team to build us."

"I stay out of that side of things," he said. "But certainly a player we want to have back. I'm not up to date with what he's doing in terms of representation, but I know that it's a player that we really want to have back, and like I spoke to a few minutes ago, is just the impact he's had on this area and what he's done for the team and organization, he's really been one of the guys that's built it into what we are today, that's for sure."

"And it's pretty special, the combo of Ovechkin and Backstrom," Reirden added. "I don't know if I'll ever be comfortable seeing a Capitals jersey or a Capitals team without both of them in it anymore. I feel strongly that something will get worked out."