Flames Sign Mikael Backlund



The RFA list has been whittled down to one now that Mikael Backlund has been inked by the team. Backlund’s deal is for one year at just $725,000, but is a one-way contract.

There is no way the Flames can lose on that ticket, which is even less than Derek Smith or TJ Brodie will make next season. Even if Backlund continue to fire blanks, he’s an above replacement level player in many other areas and just 23 years old. There’s nothing but upside to his contract.

Which isn’t to say Backlund has been taken off the trade block. The team may still decide to deal Backs and his now very cheap cap hit would make him enticing to potential trade partners. Here’s hoping the club decides to leverage the deal themselves, however.

Up next – Leland Irving.

  • Michael

    I agree that backlands had some bad injury luck but how many more chances does the guy get. This contract puts him right where aliu is because he’s virtually in the same space aliu ….”wait and see”, except not much more time on the clock. I think he’ll b traded eventually this yr. reinharts gonna make him redundant ! The 3 we need to purge r stajan babchuck and probably backs if he doesn’t kick it to high gear! anyone think jay Bo is on the market? Just curious with detroit Philly in “now what” mode?!

  • Michael

    Something’s not right here… Backlund only makes $30K a year more than Akim Aliu? WTF?

    Great for the Flames I guess but if I were Backs I’d be giving my agent a swift kick in the junk for his efforts…

    • Michael

      Backlund’s is a 1-way deal though.


      I actually think there are other things I’d like him to work on ahead of faceoffs… like resisting injuries and such. Mostly, though, I want him to bring his “I’m taking the puck @#$%er, and there’s nothing you can do about it!” game every night. Then he can address the faceoff thing.

      In the constantly churning set of line combinations in my head, it looks like this:

      Tanguay – Cammalleri – Iginla // softish minutes

      Glencross – Backlund – Hudler // skill winger with 2 possession forwards.. proabably hard minutes..

      Baertschi – Cervenka – Stempniak // definitely a soft minutes crew

      Bouma – Jones – Comeau // solid 4th line

  • Michael

    This sounds like a real low ball offer on the part of the Flames, and one that may come back to bite us.

    Backlund didn’t have much in the way of leverage (this contract), but for the Flames to value Backlund with what is essentially a 4th line contract, has to create a rift between player and management. The Flames clearly don’t value Backlunds contributions, it shows in the contract, and it showed when Feaster indicated he wanted to send Backlund down to the AHL last season. Backlund has to be one unhappy camper.

    I wonder how long it will be before Backlund wants a trade….

    • Backlund has absolutely no leverage. Here are his basic counting stats:

      2009-2010: 15-17-32 in 54 games with the Heat and 1-9-10 in 23 games with the Flames

      2010-2011: 10-15-25 in 73 games with the Flames.

      2011-2012: 4-7-11 in 41 games with the Flames

      Backlund has yet to play a full season for the Flames and has yet to break 25 points. He is defensively responsible. I am unsure as to what his specific advanced stats look like (IIRC, he tends to keep his head somewhat above water).

      In short, asking for something like $1-2M per year would have been outrageous. I mean, come on, it’s not like he’s Matt Stajan-caliber or anything…

    • Wax Man Riley

      I’m not sure he has any grounds to ask for a trade. Last year he had only 11pts in 41 games. Fair signing, but big value I think for the cap-strapped Flames.

  • beloch

    This contract puts Backlund into the same category as Cervenka. i.e. Low risk, high potential with high motivation to reach that potential. This is exactly the kind of contract Feaster has been trying to bring on board so I’d be very surprised if Backlund is traded now.

    Byron is probably going to spend the year in Abbotsford barring multiple injuries to centers (which could happen, again). If Cammalleri plays center then one of Cervenka, Jones, Backlund or Stajan is going to have to sit. Feaster might try to trade one of them, but he might also be hoping that Cervenka and Backlund prove good enough that he can put Cammalleri back on the wing.

    Now I’m curious what position Cammalleri expects to be playing this Fall…

  • Parallex


    I very much doubt that the Flames start the season with either Stajan or Babchuk on the roster. I think (hope) Stajan will be traded to a cap floor team and in the event that he’s not I imagine he and Babchuk are amnesty buyouts when the next CBA is concluded.

    • Simply do not get what you r saying! Hudler is solid and so is wideman! Are u one of those that actually thought we were getting suter or parise?! Come on! Jays done an admirable job with the $hit hole Darryl left him! Perspective time!

  • beloch

    So glad Darryl isn’t gm!!!!! He would have given him 1.5-2 just cuz he drafted him. Awesome work jay. If this doesn’t motivate backs hell be gone by Christmas. When he sees Sven and reinhart and guys like ferland nockn at the door it should hopefully light the fire under him! Well see though. Course Sven will be top 6 or 9 anyways!

  • beloch

    Pretty much what we were hoping for in terms of years and dollars. can’t help but think Irving is a no-brainer and it’s just a matter of days (hours?) before his signing is announced.

    All that’s left is to see what Feaster is going to do with the additional bodies he has signed. There are obvious choices for Abby…but at this time it can be argued that certain people are either destined for press box duty if they stay (Sarich/Babchuk) or because they have 2 way contracts they could start with the Heat and have to wait for a call up (Bouma/Brodie).

    I just don’t know if the Flames want to bury bigger contracts in the AHL to make room for some of the younger guys who might be a better asset to the team. If no one has made a bid for guys like Sarich or Stajan by now, I doubt they will unless desperation sets in for them.

  • It’s too bad they couldn’t get him inked for more than a year at that rate. No doubt JP Barry wasn’t having any of that tho – even a 30-point season would substantially improve his bargaining power next summer.