Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLennan said he'll begin preliminary extension talks with franchise icons Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby upon returning to the D.C. area in early September
"That's coming up here," MacLellan told NHL.com's Tom Gulitti. "I've checked in with both. It might happen the beginning of September, depending on the timing of me getting back. But it will happen right away (after he returns). We've got to talk and give both players what we're thinking, get their feelings on the situation and play it out from there."
"It will depend on the conversations we have, on how they want to proceed and what they think is best for everybody," he added.
Backstrom (31) and Holtby (29) are both entering the final season of their contracts, and they're scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next July. Backstrom signed a 10-year, $67-million deal with the Caps in 2010 - before the league changed its rules regarding max contract lengths - while Hotlby inked a five-year pact worth $30.5 million in 2015.
Both players have spent their entire careers with Washington, playing significant roles during the most successful era in Capitals history. Over the last five years, the club has won four division titles, two Presidents' Trophies, and a Stanley Cup.
Backstrom was drafted fourth overall in 2006, and he's spent 12 years as Alex Ovechkin's sidekick. The Swedish pivot has often flown under the radar throughout his career, but he's recorded 873 points in 895 regular-season games, adding 106 more over 123 playoff contests.
Holtby fully took over the Caps' starting goaltender job during the 2014-15 season, and he's gone on to post a 197-77-32 record since then along with a .918 save percentage. He's been awarded the Vezina Trophy, too, and received two All-Star nominations.
Washington has roughly $62 million committed to its 2020-21 roster, according to Cap Friendly, and the salary cap will likely increase from this upcoming season's $81.5 million.