(John McDonnell - TWP)

Last February, which is the last time I saw numbers, the Caps still only had one player in the top 20 of NHL sales: Alex Ovechkin, at No. 2. (Though a reader points out that Ovechkin was also listed at No. 1 during part of the 2010 season.)

The situation has now changed. Out of nowhere, Backstrom has zoomed to No. 7 on the latest list, which was published this week by SportsBusiness Daily and based on the 2010-11 season.

Without having any data in front of me, I have to believe this is the first time the Caps have had two players in the top seven of league sales since at least the lockout.

The list includes four Blackhawks and four Penguins, the only teams with more than two players. The Rangers, Red Wings and Flyers also had two names on the list.

(The wise boss at Japers Rink points out that Winter Classic sales likely helped Backstrom’s cause.)