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Nicklas Backstrom Likes Swedish Meatballs

Nicklas Backstrom was introduced to the Washington media today, as part of his three-sports-in-three-days tour. Saturday was the Mystics game. Sunday was the Nats game, where he threw out the first pitch--"a strike on the outside corner, split-fingered slider, very fine pitch," Ted Leonsis said. Today was hockey, I guess, unless you count the figure skaters currently practicing to Gershwin here at the team's practice facility in Ballston.

"This is another part of our rebuilding plan," Leonsis said. "He is another part of the foundation of the new core of the Washington Capitals."

"A very smart player," GM George McPhee said of the young Swede. "We've always said the best players are the smartest players."

"No girlfriend, no hot dog, no beer," Leonsis said, of Backstrom's baseball game experience, speaking to his dedication to hockey. In fact, when I asked Backstrom for his favorite author, hoping he'd say, I don' t know, Selma Lagerlof or something, he said "I don't read."

"I just want to say I'm glad to be here," Backstrom said during his brief remarks, brief meaning three sentences, two of which I understood. But then we were given the chance to get one-on-one interviews, in which I learned the following:

--His favorite food is his mother's meatballs.

--He's been told to seek out the cuisine at IKEA for authentic meatballs.

--[Edit: Forgot to mention that his brother, Kristoffer, said Nicklas also likes "Mexicans' food and Thailand's food." Later in the day, the rest of the Backstrom family (sans Nicklas) was spotted in the Ballston Commons food court at Manchu Wok. Really.]

--He once was an 8 handicap in golf, although that number has ballooned in recent years.

--His favorite bands are U2 and The Sounds, a Swedish act, that you can listen to here.

--His favorite NBA team? "I have to say Washington's team," he said, although the name escaped him at the time, which was understandable. "I know the women's name, it's Mystics," he said.

--His favorite NHL player is Henrik Zetterberg.

--A little sketchy on the details here, but apparently he studied carpentry in school. His father suggested that it was really more like masonry. I hope the Caps use this in some sort of promotional campaign about building the foundation of the new core or something like that.

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 21, 2007; 1:21 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Next: Blair Thomas Rocks a Sun Hat


But can he sing?

Posted by: Kim | May 21, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if he can sing!! As long as the boy can live up to the hype, put the puck in the back of the net, setup Ovie and/or Semin and help the Caps into the playoffs is all Capitals fans care about!!

PS, I hope NBC does not air any Capitals games next year!! While the exposure would be nice, Caps fans don't want to be dissed for a freakin horse race!!!

Posted by: Mitch | May 21, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Keep that actual hockey analysis/optimism for Tarik's blog.

Will Backstrom come with a competing iPod?

Posted by: Kim | May 21, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Woooooooooo! Finally, a legitimate second line center!

Posted by: Ian | May 21, 2007 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't legitimate? :(

Posted by: Boyd Gordon | May 21, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

A blog post on the Capitals? Woah!

I thought you gave up..... still not convinced you haven't.

Posted by: Amazed!!! | May 21, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Notice that Dan apparently didn't ask Backstrom about chitlin's.

Posted by: Kim | May 21, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey Boyd? Third line, yes. Second line, no. Sorry.

Posted by: norske | May 21, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Swedish meatballs huh?

Posted by: Shmee | May 21, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"--He once was an 8 handicap in golf, although that number has ballooned in recent years."

Pfft . . . amateurs.

Alex Hole-in-One-vechkin

Posted by: The Peerless | May 21, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Why show him with the old jersey now. Why not just wait till summer whwn the other supposedly free agents we sign are going to wear the new one.

Posted by: mac | May 21, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

The Swedish meatballs at Ikea are very good, and so is the rest of their food. And it's cheap!


Posted by: Oneal | May 21, 2007 8:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: WGDC- | May 22, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: WGDC- | May 22, 2007 12:50 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: WGDC- | May 22, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

What I always appreciate about the bog is the "normal person" angle of profiling players and sports stories with the tongue firmly planted in cheek. This is no exception, and has the added bonus of being about "the new kid." Thank you.

Posted by: Goat | May 22, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"I don't read!"


Posted by: caphcky | May 22, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I'll buy him all the Ikea meatballs he wants if he carries the second line

Posted by: Graham | May 23, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

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