- The Washington Times - Monday, February 27, 2012

Nicklas Backstrom hasn’t played since Jan. 3. He hasn’t skated since Jan. 23. The prospects of the Washington Capitals getting their star center back before the playoffs look bleak.

So the team placed Backstrom on long-term injured reserve, a spokesman confirmed Monday. The move is retroactive so that he can come off at any time, but it frees up $6.7 million to spend before the 3 p.m. trade deadline.

Thanks to the move, Washington has roughly $7.6 million to play with if he misses the rest of the regular season.