If Mikael Backlund is available, the Leafs should pursue him

Cam Charron
July 05 2012 08:12AM

Reminder, Jonas Gustavsson will make $3M over the next two seasons in Detroit.

Some interesting possibilities. Sometimes teams get handicapped with a lot of clutter toward the back of their roster, and some good players get forced out. Yesterday, the Calgary Flames signed Akim Aliu and Paul Byron, who are, by my count, the 45th and 46th out of a possible 50 contracts for the Flames. Aliu's deal also makes him the 13th forward with an NHL contract for the Flames.

Remaining unsigned is former first-round pick Mikael Backlund, a centreman with 15 goals in his 138-game NHL career. He had 11 points in 41 games last year. I think he would be an exceptional candidate for the Toronto Maple Leafs' first line.

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Flames re-sign Paul Byron and Akim Aliu

Kent Wilson
July 04 2012 03:21PM



The Flames added two more names from the to-do list today, re-inking minor league forwards Paul Byron and Akim Aliu. Both contracts are two-way, one year deals. Byron's NHL salary is worth $585,000 while Aliu (somehow) clocks in at $695,000.

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Explaining Jokinen's Terrible Last Quarter

Kent Wilson
July 04 2012 12:18PM



A day or two after Olli Jokinen signed with the Winnipeg Jets, I saw a lot of chatter about this last 15-games or so amongst fans and pundits on twitter. The big Fin had something of a comeback season last year, scoring 61-points (second on the team) but there's no question he had a dreadful final quarter - starting March 13, he managed just three points in the last 13 games and was a cumulative -14.

That being the Flames "stretch drive" for the playoffs, there was a lot of speculation about Jokinen's health and character to explain his horrible downturn in results. The truth is, however, one doesn't need to turn to health or character issues to sort things out - Jokinen merely hit a dry patch.

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Five things: Jay Feaster's just screwing with me at this point

Ryan Lambert
July 04 2012 09:07AM

1. Let's start at the very beginning

A secret of the trade: I usually write this column, for Wednesday mornings, on Tuesday afternoons or nights (and, full disclosure, I'm writing this on Monday night because I've got my own stuff going on). I therefore did not know about Jay Feaster's plans to trade for the rights to Dennis Wideman, and then sign the defenseman to a contract before he hit the open market.

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Inside Jarome Iginla's next contract

Ryan Pike
July 03 2012 04:17PM



Lost in all the free agent hustle and bustle is that, as July 1 arrives, Flames captain Jarome Iginla is eligible to sign a contract extension with the Calgary Flames. A veteran of almost 1,200 NHL contests and one of a select few to score 500 goals and 1,000 points, Iginla's also the second-longest tenured captain in the NHL (behind Daniel Alfredsson).

All of these factors will play into his next contract.

Precisely whose contract figures we can compare Iginla to is tricky, as quite frankly, there's nobody with comparable numbers in the league except maybe Alfredsson.

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