This is a translated interview from the swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
Nicklas Bäckström was hit with two big punches to the face this season. But the summer has been a hit so far. When he got home to Gävle his newly-built dream house was just ready to be occupied. The house is 520 square metres and is just a ten-minute drive outside of town.
"I was very happy with how it all turned out but I did make all the decisions on my own so that’s no surprise really," says Bäckis.
Nicklas Bäckström had a fantastic season in the NHL dream and passed the dream barrier one hundred points with 33 goals and 68 assists - a total of 101 points - in the regular season.
And when the season was over, he signed a ten-year contract with the Washington Capitals worth $67,000,000, or over half a billion Swedish kronor.
Under those circumstances you can afford to build yourself a nice home to stay in during the summers you can even build a vacation home that is bigger than most people's entire property.
"It's nice to have a place to call home when I’m home in Sweden during the summer. I’ve been here at home for most of the summer. I have done some travelling to see my relatives and friends," says Nicklas.
"A bit sloppy"
Another summer passed without his best buddy Alexander Ovechkin coming for a visit, despite a standing invitation.
"We have called each other a few times, but of course we will soon see each other again when training camp starts. He doesn’t want to leave Moscow during the summer."
But Nicklas Bäckström's winter wasn’t a cake walk - some of his dreams got shattered along the way.
The first punch to his face came against Slovakia in the Olympic quarterfinals in Vancouver. The second blow to the face came with the early exit in the first round of the Stanley Cup play off against Montreal, despite the fact they had a 3-1 lead.
Washington came out on top of the Eastern Conference and were favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
"I really feel that we were a bit sloppy both of those times. I don’t know what happened against Slovakia, but I think it was a bit of an underestimation on our part. It was just plain wrong. And you should win when you are up 3-1 in a series. But it is an easy thing for me to say in hindsight. At the same time they played smart playoff hockey and was good defensively. You have to give them credit for that. And we have a lot to learn about playoff hockey that’s quite clear. But we do have a very good team so I think we have a good chance to bounce right back and win it all next year."
Does it feel good to know that you will stay in Washington for the next ten years?
"Yeah, I know the town and the organization and like it here so it felt like the right thing to do."
And now you won't be the only Swede in town?
"Yes, Marcus Johansson is new to the team. I have talked to him on the phone and he went to Washington and signed his contract at the same time as I signed mine at the end of May. And Anton Gustafsson - Bengt-Åke's son - will make a new attempt to break into the squad."
You have to be pleased with your own season last year?
"Of course it was fun for me on an individual level to reach 100 points, but to be perfectly honest, I would give up my 100 points in a heartbeat if I could claim the Stanley Cup title instead. It’s hard to enjoy personal accomplishment when you get bounced in the first round."
That’s the way a true winner thinks.
What’s your favorite place to hang out during the summer?
"I have to say my new house everything is exactly liked I planned it."
What’s a typical summer day like for you?
"I spend the first part of the day at the gym, in the afternoon I just hang out at home and maybe play some tennis and go jet-skiing with my friends. I just try to relax and take the day as it come.