Backstrom, who led the league with 60 assists during the regular season, underwent an arthroscopic procedure on one of his hips on Wednesday, according to a team spokesman.
Babcock had spent the last 10 seasons with the Red Wings, winning the Stanley Cup in 2008, and had also coached Canada to Olympic gold medals in 2010 and 2014.
Parity in the modern world of professional sports has made winning a title very difficult, though the heartbreak associated with a premature ending can quickly be washed away with optimism.
MacLellan has several expiring contracts to juggle this offseason, including those of defenseman Mike Green and goaltender Braden Holtby, and won’t have the luxury of a lot of salary cap room to sign them all.
The recent losses by the Wizards and Capitals in the second round should be hard to stomach, considering the city’s major sports teams never seem to be able to get past that obstacle.