Random Thoughts - Backlund Signs

Kent Wilson
October 05 2012 11:12AM

 

 

Jut a few things to talk about before heading into the weekend here. The lock-out continues to stretch out before us, like a distant relatives never ending vacation slide show, but nevertheless we continue to love and talk hokcye (or hockey related business items and satire) around the Nations.

Backlund Back on Ice

First up, Vasteras' oddly extended courtship with Mikael Backlund has finally culminated in the 23-year old center signing with the team. We heard about the possibility weeks ago, so I'm not sure what the hold-up was. Doesn't matter at this point, of course.

Vasteras is Backlund's home town and the team for which he played as a teenager. His final season there was somewhat contentious, with the then 19-year old Backlund battling for ice time and not the favorite of his coach. The friction caused Backlund to skip the pond and join the Kelowna rockets (who owned his CHL rights at the time).

The Rockets boasted Jamie Benn and Tyler Myers at the time. The addition of Backlund made the team a bit of a juggernaut and they went on to win the WHL championship over the Calgary Hitmen.

Back to the present. Vasteras is a member of the Allsveskan hockey league, which the relegation league below the SEL in Sweden. The only other current NHLer on the roster is the Blues Patrik Berglund, who also made his way through the Vasteras system as a prospect.

We'll make sure to keep an eye on Backliund as the season progresses, with some reports directly from writers in Sweden.

Grading the Flames Summer

While the off-ice moves made by Feaster this off-season don't seem all that relevant right now, Hockey Prospectus recently published an article on the best and worst moves made this across the league this summer as graded by a host of stats analysts, including myself.

The good news - Lee Stempniak was considered one of the better moves, garnering a 67.4% approval rating.

The bad news - the Cory Sarich and Dennis Wideman signings were considered two of the worst moves the off-season, with Sarich's deal coming with a 37.4% approval and Wideman just 6.5%.

It may seem odd to see Sarich graded higher than Wideman, but remember the question was about the quality of the contract rather than of the player. There's no question Wideman is the better defenseman, but his deal is heaped with risk because it's long-term (five years), expensive ($5.25M/year) and has the added NMC to boot. Add in the fact that Wideman turns 30 in March and a bulk of his contract comes during the downside of his career and you have a deal that is fairly unappealing.

NHL13 PS3 League

There have been lots of requests for a PS3 FN league since we went live with the XBox version. I will look into starting things up this weekend, with more details to go live tomorrow.

Stop by Saturday and make sure to share your gamertag and preferred team.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 Justin Azevedo
October 05 2012, 11:17AM
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I have it on good authority the reason it took so long for backlund to sign is because he was waiting for an offer from a khl team.

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#3 Tach
October 05 2012, 11:36AM
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I think of all the Flames players that were not yet in a situation to play, Backlund really needed to get on the ice, particularly considering his injury issues last season limited his number of games.

Is it still the same coach in Vasteras though? Curious that he would go back if it was.

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#5 SmellOfVictory
October 05 2012, 03:59PM
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On the grading: I found it curious that Carle's signing was considered so much better than Wideman's. I realize Carle's a little more well-loved and better defensively, but enough to make his larger contract a majority approved one vs the 6ish% for Wideman?

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#6 Deaner_
October 05 2012, 10:38PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I tried to look that up, but failed to find out. I plan to ask some of the Swedish writers I know if that's the case or not.

I had a look and found Göran Sjöberg was listed as the current Head coach for Vasteras this coming season, http://eurohockey.com/club/247-vik-vsters-hk.html?league=4 ,his bio lists Falu IF of the Division 1 league (which is a step below Elitserien) as the team he was coaching last year and i believe he was retired from coaching when Backs was playing in Sweden, so hopefully there should be no issues remaining between Backlund and the coaching staff.

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#7 FireOnIce
October 06 2012, 01:12AM
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Looks like the lockout is already doing damage to the Flames.

http://en.ria.ru/sports/20121003/176385053.html

Jiri Hudler released from his KHL team after tearing an abdominal muscle. Just great.

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#8 Jean-Claude Moreau
October 08 2012, 09:10AM
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Is Backlund's recent one year contract one way ?

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