Caps players react to Nicklas Backstrom garden gnome

February 5, 2013

Tonight’s Caps giveaway is a Nicklas Backstrom garden gnome, and I got a chance to ask the giveaway’s namesake about the honor of being immortalized in plastic.

“I think I’ve had a bobblehead before,” Backstrom told me, adding that the gnome looks “a little bit” like him. “[The gnome is] gonna be right beside my bed, I think.”

Most of the players I talked to hadn’t seen the Backstrom gnome yet, so the media members at Kettler today got the privilege of getting first reactions to tonight’s giveaway.

“Oh, nice!” said Alex Ovechkin, when shown a picture of the figurine. “It looks like him.”

John Carlson commented that it only looks like Backstrom “in the eyes, a little bit” and said that he probably wouldn’t be keeping his, should he be lucky enough to score one.

“Oh, boy,” Carlson said, shaking his head at the picture of the figurine. “I’ll probably give it to someone. That’s probably not something you’d like to keep around the house.”

Troy Brouwer disagreed.

“I wouldn’t mind getting one in my home,” he said. “It looks like Phil Kessel. It’s funny though. That’s gonna freak my dogs out.”

At least one player wasn’t familiar with garden gnomes, and got a lesson in outdoor accessories.

“What’s a garden gnome?” asked Brooks Laich, who seemed legitimately confused. “Are there a lot of Caps fans that are gardeners?”

Most of the players told me they’d prefer to be honored with a bobblehead than a gnome, but Coach Adam Oates sees it a little differently.

“What a beautiful gift,” he deadpanned. “What a compliment. A gnome.”

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Dan Steinberg | February 5, 2013