The Washington Times - February 5, 2013, 12:29PM

Nicklas Backstrom is a garden gnome. Or at least that’s what fans will receive at Tuesday night’s game between the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs.

That’s right: The giveaway is the Caps center … as a garden gnome.


“What a beautiful gift,” coach Adam Oates said. “What a compliment, a gnome!”

Backstrom has had bobbleheads of him made before, but the garden gnome is a first. Unlike most teammates, he had seen it before Tuesday. He said it looks a little like him.

But where will it go after Tuesday night’s game?

“It’s going to be right beside my bed I think,” Backstrom joked.

Players were baffled by the idea of Backstrom’s likeness as a garden gnome. “Are there a lot of Caps fans that are gardeners?” Brooks Laich asked.

Joel Ward simply shook his head when shown a picture. Troy Brouwer said his dogs are scared of gnomes.

Alex Ovechkin just smiled.

“Oh, nice!” he said.