Nicklas Bäckström is back home in Gävle, Sweden for the summer. Gefle Dagblad’s Magnus Hägerborn stopped by the training facility where Bäckström and some other NHL players such as Calle Järnkrok, Elias Lindholm, Anders Lindbäck, William Karlsson and Jacob Markström are preparing for the upcoming season. It is not a normal summer of training for Bäckström, though, because this year he is forced to focus solely on rehab training after having a surgical procedure on his hip.
Here’s a recap of the injury situation:
In late May Nicklas Bäckström underwent arthroscopic hip surgery. The Washington Capitals said the day after the surgery, “We are confident that Nick will be completely healthy prior to the start of the 2015-16 regular season.”
A little over two weeks later, Bäckström gave an interview to Gefle Dagblad where he said, “I’ve been in pain since sometime in November so we had to fix it. It’s hard to say how long it will take for me to come back. It varies from individual to individual, but five months is a time frame I have heard. Right now my main focus is to get back the mobility in my hip again.”
Washington Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan told the Washington Post at the GM meeting in late June, “I think his hip surgery went well. He’ll be close to starting the year, it looks like…I know [from] talking to the trainer and the doctor that everything’s gone well, they expect the rehab to go well. It’s hard for me to predict. Optimistically, I’d say I’m hoping he’s coming back for training camp.”
During his talk at the National Press Club, Barry Trotz said that the team is exploring adding another center and that the injury wasn’t a problem until about February when they had to start monitoring the situation more closely. (click here to get the full quote from Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post).
Earlier in the week when Trotz was on the radio on “Elliot in the Morning”, he expressed some concern that Bäckström would get behind conditioning-wise since he is only allowed to do rehab training.
With that in mind, it is nice to see video of Bäckström working up a sweat on stationary bike at the multisport facility called Korpen Gävle Strand. Just like last summer when Bäckström worked out at the same facility in the crossfit section, it is not the most luxurious part of the facility. It is small and crowded. But it is still where a handful of Swedish, mostly Gävle based, NHL players choose to train.
“I like the environment and it feels good to be here,” Bäckström told Gefle Dagblad.
“It definitely makes the training easier when you know you have people to buzz with later,” said Jacob Markström.
Anders Lindbäck started the trend of working out at Korpen Gävle Strand. The other players who followed Lindbäck train a lot together but Bäckström can not join them this year. Instead he works out alone, going through his rehab exercises from the trainers in Washington.
”It’s back to basics that is the thing right now. Working with machines is almost dead now. People have realized that this is the most natural and efficient way to train. Even if the hockey guys are not doing pure CrossFit, it’s the feeling they are after,” said Johan Holmström, the trainer for the local soccer team, Gefle IF, that practices at the facility.
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