Caps place Backstrom on long-term injured list

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -- The Washington Capitals have placed center Nicklas Backstrom on the long-term injured list, starting what could be a busy day at the NHL trade deadline.

Backstrom has been out with a concussion since Jan. 3, when he elbowed by Rene Bourque in a game against Calgary.

Monday's move is retroactive to Jan. 4 and would give the Capitals about $7.6 million in salary cap space if Backstrom misses the rest of the regular season.

The Capitals expected to be a contender for the Stanley Cup again this season. Instead, they sat in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and third in the Southeast Division as the 3 p.m. EST deadline approached.