Capitals GM: Backstrom expected to return 'within the first 10 games'

James Guillory / Reuters

Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said Nicklas Backstrom's return should come within the first month of the regular season.

"I guess we're saying now somewhere within the first 10 games, depending on how he feels," MacLellan told reporters Friday.

Backstrom had hip surgery during the offseason and isn't expected to take part in the preseason.

The Capitals play 10 games in October, beginning with their season opener at home on Oct. 10 against the New Jersey Devils. The 10th game is a road contest on Oct. 31 against the Florida Panthers.

Backstrom resumed skating last month in a non-contact capacity.

Following surgery, he aimed to be ready for camp, but head coach Barry Trotz later said his star center's status for the season opener was uncertain.

Backstrom notched 78 points, including an NHL-best 60 assists, playing in all 82 games for the Capitals in 2014-15.

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Capitals GM: Backstrom expected to return 'within the first 10 games'
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