Earlier today I posted a snippet from an interview that Nicklas Bäckström did with his hometown paper Gefle Dagblad. I’ve now done a more comprehensive translation of the interview where he talked about his rehab training, where he is at in the recovery process, and what he thinks about the Caps’ new players.
Gefle Dagblad posted both a video and a written piece of the conversation and I chose to keep them separate.
This is from the video:
It feels good. I have had good few months back home in Gävle but when August rolls around you feel that it’s time for hockey again, so it will be nice to go back to Washington again.
How do you feel after your surgery?
I feel good.
So there haven’t been any complications?
No, I don’t think so. Everything has felt good and I hope that it stays that way.
You were just on the ice. For how long have you been training on ice?
I think I’ve been on ice five time now, not too much. I didn’t want to go on ice before I was ready for it. I waited until it felt ok to skate again. Because of the injury I had to postpone my on ice training compared to when I have done it in years past.
But there is still time to go at it before the season starts. [Ed. Note: As a reference point, fwiw, on August 3 Caps’ General Manager Brian McLellan said, according to nhl.com: ”I heard he started skating just recently, so that’s a good sign” so that’s five times on ice in + 23 days]
I have talked some with the doctor that did the procedure, he’s the person that I’ve been in contact and talked with the most. I think it’s really important since I don’t really know much about these things, so it’s good to talk to someone that actually does.
The surgery took place in Washington?
What does your personal trainer Andreas Öhgren mean to you?
He has been really great. I got in contact with him after a tip from Sebastian Lauritzen that also had surgery done on his hip. They say that Andreas Öhgren is best in Sweden in his field, and I can only agree with that, I think.
He is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to how the body works, and he uses new techniques in his training. Well, not new to him but for a lot of other people. He’s been traveling up to me quite a few times to work with me. It feels so very good to train with him, he does good things, especially for me, who has been injured. [Ed.Note: Bäckström lives in Gävle during the summer while Öhgren lives in Stockhom, where he also trains a group of NHL players including Gabriel Landeskog, Niklas Kronwall and Johnny Oduya]
There are some new things going on in the organization, and I think we needed that. I would say that this past season was our best so far. We played more as a team and that’s what we have to do. But at the same time, the margins are thin in hockey.
We had the lead with three games to one, and have a 1-0 lead when it’s one minute left of the game, they tie it, win it in OT and then they win two straight games. The margins are thin, but at the same time you have to learn from it. I know it’s boring as hell to keep saying the same thing year after year but you have to try to learn from it and move on.
Of course it’s not fun that [Mike] Green is leaving but it’s part of the business over there, that’s just the way it is. Players move from team to team, especially since it’s hard to fit all players under the cap. But he’s coming to another team, a Swedish team, Detroit. I wish him all the best and I’m sure we’ll be talking some during the season.
Is Justin Williams the Washington Capitals best new player?
I would say that he and [T.J.] Oshie are equally good. I think a player like Justin Williams, who has won three Stanley Cups, is going to be so great for us. To get all that additional experience in the locker room, since we actually do have a pretty young team. It’s always good to have players that know what it takes in the locker room.
Do you still view yourself as young?
Yeah, I do.
How has having a daughter affected you as person and as a hockey player?
Of course it has affected me a bit. It’s new type of life you live after you have kids. It’s so great to get home from practice and be with her instead of thinking about hockey 24/7.
Have any of your Washington teammates, Ovechkin maybe, ever been here for a visit?
No, he hasn’t. He is plenty busy back home in Moscow.
This part is from the written article:
Bäckström doesn’t want to talk about how serious the procedure was.
“No but it was the right time to do it now, otherwise I would have been stuck with it for a couple of more years.”
He has been rehab training with Andreas Öhgren for two months.
“We have been focusing on getting the mobility back in the hip. At first I couldn’t run or do anything like that. That’s why I waited until just recently to go on ice. He has many new ideas for rotation exercises and is focused on that the training should be similar to the movements we use when we play hockey.”
Are you going to be ready for the start of the season in October?
“I really don’t know. It’s such an hard question to answer. That’s something we will look at going forward, and we’ll evaluate the situation with help from the trainer and the fitness trainer.”
[Ed.Note: Trainer and coach are the same word in Swedish, so I can’t know for sure who he is referring to]
Bäckström also talked briefly about his allergies.
“I feel good right now but it’s tough in the springtime during February and March. I have been talking about doing something about it.”
Posts about Nicklas Bäckström on the blog