Nick Backstrom and the Washington Capitals remain in ongoing contract negotiations, according to Nick Backstrom’s representation — Nick Backstrom.
The pending unrestricted free agent confirmed to the Washington Post on Monday that he and now-former agent Mark Levine went their separate ways just before the start of this season, leaving the 32-year-old to negotiate his new deal all on his own.
Though he declined to get into any kind of specifics related to the dollar value or terms he’s seeking on his next contract — or which member or members of the Caps front office he’s directly dealing with — Backstrom says the two sides remain in talks as his current deal is set to expire at season’s end.
“We’re talking, and we will see what they would like to do,” Backstrom told the Post. “It is in their hands pretty much.”
Familiarity and mutual respect both ways, obviously, has paved the way for Backstrom to go it alone on what is likely his last major contract negotiation.
“I feel like I’ve been here long enough and I feel like I’ve seen everything, and I don’t think it’s anything to hide,” Backstrom said.
“We will see what happens here moving forward. We will see what happens. I just believed that I wanted to do this myself. I feel like I have a good enough relationship with the organization that we can be honest and talk, and that is how it is.”
Several high profile players, including Kings defenceman Drew Doughty and Backstrom’s long-time Capitals teammate Alex Ovechkin, have successfully negotiated their own monster deals in recent years. Ovi’s negotiation was particularly fruitful, as the then-22-year-old locked down the NHL’s first-ever $100-plus-million deal.
Despite the track record of Agent Ovi, Backstrom declined to let his good friend help him out on this one.
“He wanted to be my agent, actually, but I said: ‘No. Thanks for the help, though,’” Backstrom said.
With NHL agents regularly earning 3-5 percent of the total value of the contracts they negotiate, high-income players savvy enough to properly secure their own deals can save hundreds of thousands — even millions — of dollars in commission fees.
Backstrom is in the final season of a 10-year, $67-million contract he inked with Washington in 2010.
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