(Toni L. Sandys/Washington Post)

Update, 2:32 p.m.: Backstrom’s agent, Marc Levine, confirmed that the Swedish center has signed with Dynamo Moscow but declined further comment.

Original post: Nicklas Backstrom has signed with KHL’s Dynamo Moscow, according to a report by Swedish news outlet SVT Sport, and will fly to Russia Thursday evening. 

This move will reunite the Swede, who spent the first month of the NHL lockout in Washington working out with a handful of other players, with Alex Ovechkin in the star left wing’s hometown and on his childhood team

“Ovechkin’s been calling since he came to Moscow,” Backstrom told SVT Sport. “It’ll be fun. I’m leaving today.”

Backstrom, 24, is the fifth Capital to head overseas during the NHL’s lockout. 

Check out SVT Sport’s report, as translated by Google, below. s/t to Malin Andersson on the report. 

“I want to play hockey and this will be a fun challenge,” says Backstrom to SVT sport.

It was teammate Alex Ovechkin who persuaded Backstrom choosing Dynamo. It can be a short-term stay in the Russian capital. The parties shall negotiate in the NHL tonight Swedish time. The employer has fallen somewhat with the hope to get the game on November 2. Players union does not seem impressed by the new bid. 

The timing of Backstrom’s departure to Europe is a curious one and possibly a negative reflection on the labor negotiations, as it comes on the same day that the NHLPA will respond to the league’s most recent collective bargaining proposal. The NHL said it would need an agreement in place by Oct. 25 in order to salvage a full 82-game season, which would commence on Nov. 2.

According to the union, 18 players will be present in Toronto for Thursday’s afternoon meeting between the two sides while the NHL’s contingent will include owners Ted Leonsis, Jeremy Jacobs, Craig Leipold and Murray Edwards.


Where are the Capitals during the lockout?