Swedish TV network SVT was at Kettler this week to catch up with Nicklas Backstrom, and Malin A. provides us with the translation of the interview.
How does it feel to be back on the ice again?
"It feels pretty amazing. I've been gone for about two months now so this is something I've really been looking forward to. It has been a bit frustrating for me - not being able to be on the ice at all, and at the same time watching the guys play. It's been pretty hard on me to tell you the truth."
Tell me about the problems you have now and the problems you have had to deal with?
"I was on the receiving end of a hit on January third, and after that my head did not feel okay. I got a concussion and had all the symptoms."
"Yeah, I have had it all. All the symptoms that come with it. It's been pretty tough and frustrating but it feels better now and it feels good to be back on the ice."
What has been the worst?
"The worst thing was when I came back here, and had to watch the guys on the ice and not being able to be out there with them. Instead I just had to rest and take it easy all the time. That's the thing that has been the most annoying and frustrating. But at least now I'm back on the ice, so we will see."
Have you been worried?
Yeah, of course I have been a little worried. I have heard from a lot of other people that concussions are nothing you can play around with and that you should take it very carefully.
And if you get another one soon after the first one it's really not good, and some hockey players had to retire from hockey because of concussions. On one hand there is all that but on the other hand - this is my first concussion so maybe I shouldn't worry that much about it."
Do you think that the thoughts about getting a second concussion will have an affect on how you play the game?
"I hope not, and I honestly don't think it will affect me. I think that once I'm back playing again I'm gonna be so preoccupied with playing that there won't be time to think about that. If it happens, it happens. But it's not like I should skate around constantly thinking about it."
Is it realistic to think that you can be back this season?
"We will see, there is no timetable for my return. We are taking it day by day, at least now I'm back on the ice and then we will see what will happen."
How do you feel when you see the hit?
"It's just a very unnecessary thing to do. He could have just as easily just skated past me and not given me that elbow. But, yeah it feels kind of bad that I have to miss two and a half months, so far, and he is only out for five games. That is the thing that really irritates me. But I think that the there are some discussions going on about hits to the head and suspensions, so we will see what's going to happen."
Should the suspensions be longer for those kind of hits to the head?
"Yes, I think they should actually. This is my personal opinion about the subject, especially on hits that results in guys missing a lot of time. But it depends on the situation too, [like] if a player does it on purpose or not. It would have been a different situation if I were a hit along the boards. But as the situation was I think the hit was completely unnecessary. I'm not the only one this has happened to. There are a lot of players around the league that have been on the receiving end of bad hits this year. We will see what will happen."
How is is it suddenly have a completely open calendar? You are used to having every day planned out in advance.
"Yeah, it's... I'm so restless, I'm climbing the walls and don't know what I should do with myself. I'm essentially doing nothing right now. I'm used to having very specific routines; travel, playing games and practice, things like that. and then all of a sudden, yeah, you do absolutely nothing. It's a really strange feeling, but at the same time it's a part of your life that you have to go through.
Of course it's tough, it feels like I'm back on square one, the same feeling you have before the season starts but the only thing I can do it work through it and try to fight for a playoff spot."
What are you dreaming about when you are out here working on your own on the ice?
"I'm dreaming about finally getting to train with the team again and maybe after that to play in a game. Also about making the playoffs. Because maybe then there is a chance I can play again."