A busy news week started early for the Calgary Flames, as they kicked off this weekend in style by announcing an extension for analytics darling and FlamesNation’s favourite player, Mikael Backlund.
The press release says it’s a multi-year deal, but the usual suspects have helped us flesh that out a bit.
Backlunds deal is 3 years. #Flames
— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) June 20, 2015
Backlund AAV in Calgary is $3.575M
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 20, 2015
I think it’s safe to say that it’s a deal that fits in well on the club. Money-wise, he doesn’t break the bank, and he makes slightly more than established fourth-line center Matt Stajan. Backlund made just $1.5 million last season on a “show-me” contract.
And in terms of Sam Bennett? Well, now you have three rock-solid pivots in Stajan, Backlund and Sean Monahan up the middle, so it’s not necessary to put Bennett in center too early. They have the positional depth to ease him in a bit on the wing, as they did in the post-season.
As for Backlund? He’s been one of Calgary’s most consistent players in all three zones. The worst things you can say about him are “I wish he was healthy more often” and “I wish he scored more goals.” It’s cliche, but good teams win games and championships because of what players like Mikael Backlund do for those teams.
Heck, in the playoffs, the Flames won a round because of what Mikael Backlund does for them.