(Uffe Bodin is a Swedish sports writer and editor-in-chief of hockeysvierge.se who is a friend of the site and has worked with me in the past. Uffe recently interviewed Mikael Backlund about his difficult season and was good enough to send over translated sections for FlamesNation readers. The original article can be found here.)
By: Uffe Bodin
(Backlund on returning from his first injury)
"I immediately got the chance on the first line and in the beginning, I felt as strong as I’ve ever felt. I had three great chances early on, but didn’t score and after that things didn’t go my way."
"Things didn’t work out with Iginla and Tanguay as it did the previous year. About eight games after my comeback I was demoted to the third line. It was almost as if I freezed and the points didn’t come as I had hoped. If I had scored early on things might have gone my way, but it never came to that."
(On his shoulder injury)
"First, I got hit by Alexander Edler, which made my shoulder pop out of its joint (not sure if that’s how you say it). They got it back in place pretty fast and I continued to play, but then it popped out again when I grabbed their defenseman Alberts. It wasn’t too comfortable the first time, but the second time it was worse. It was extremely painful."
(On the coaching change and his RFA status)
"I think it’s good thing. If you don’t make the playoffs in three straight seasons, you need to do something about it. I really like Brent Sutter, but I think it was time to hear a new voice in the locker room."
"(Hartley) has won at every level he’s coached – the juniors, the AHL, the NHL and in Switzerland. He called me and introduced himself last week. He seemed very nice even though I’ve heard that he is a very demanding coach"
"A lot of things can happen during the summer, but it was a great feeling when Hartley called and sounded positive. He said he was looking forward to meeting me in August. I also had a good conversation with GM Jay Feaster after the season and he also sounded positive."
(On expectations for next season)
"I want to have a much better year than this past season, which was really rough. I want to have a spot among the top three centres on the team, ideally among the two really. I also want to score and produce much more."
Uffe also noted that Backlund is training with Mats Emanuelsson this summer, a strength coach who has also worked a lot with Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
(Thanks again to Uffe Bodin for not making us rely on google translation. You can follow Uffe on twitter here.)