With the 32-year-old set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, both sides are preparing to move forward with negotiations.
“I’m told Ron that he has begun talks with the Capitals without an agent,” said Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “I would think that would probably be a good sign for the player and the team that they feel they can get something done together.”
Backstrom has four goals and 18 points in 23 games this season and is in the final year of his 10-year, $67-million deal.
The Capitals have another big decision to make at the end of the campaign, with starting goaltender Braden Holtby also set to become a UFA at the end of the season.
Washington selected Backstrom with the fourth-overall pick in the 2006 draft and is second all-time in franchise scoring with 235 goals, 656 assists and 891 points in 918 career games.