Pop quiz: which NHL team has the newest, most expensive pair of superstars?
As of Monday, the answer is the Washington Capitals.
The Caps signed center Nicklas Backstrom, 22, to a 10-year, $67 million deal Monday. He established career-highs with 33 goals and 68 assists this season, and his 101 points ranked fourth in the NHL. He could have become a restricted free agent this summer.
Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin combined to total 210 points this season, making them the top scoring duo in the NHL. Ovechkin, a two-time league MVP, just finished the second year of a 13-year, $124 million.
The fantasy impact of this deal has a number of levels. First, it keeps two young scorers together for the next ten years. Considering that Backstrom has never missed a game in the NHL, this could keep the Caps an offensive highlight film for the next decade.
The biggest impact, however, is the question marks these two significant salaries puts on other young guns in Washington like Mike Green and Alexander Semin. Green is a finalist for the Norris Trophy for a second consecutive season, while Semin might become the trade piece Washington moves to lower their payroll.