Nicklas Backstrom could miss the start of next season after hip surgery

After undergoing hip surgery late last month, it was thought that Caps center Nicklas Backstrom would be ready for the start of the season. But according to a report coming out of Sweden, Capitals fans should probably hold off on that. Backstrom gave an interview to Gefle Dagblad in Sweden, and with the help of Google Translate, here’s the part where Nicklas talks about his surgery:

I have been in pain since November sometime so we had to correct it. It is difficult to say how long it will take to get back, it’s a little different from individual to individual, but five months is something I heard. Right now I’m working mainly with getting up movement in the hip again.

It certainly puts the start of the season in question for Backstrom, and maybe a little bit longer as to when we might see the real Nicklas Backstrom on the ice. While I would tend to doubt that this would alter Washington’s offseason plans in terms of free agency, one guy who hopes that he comes back sooner rather than later is Alex Ovechkin. Of Ovi’s 53 goals, 36 of them featured an assist by last season’s league leader in assists, and 15 of those came where Backstrom had the first assist. If nothing else, this might turn into Evgeny Kuznetsov’s chance to briefly move up to Ovechkin’s line and take his game to the next level.

All that said, if Backstrom is hitting the links, then chances are the Caps will have nothing to worry about come training camp.