In the aftermath of the Calgary Flames’ playoff elimination on Friday night comes a bit of international competition news. Swedish reporter Jonatan Lindquist is reporting that Flames forward Mikael Backlund is skipping this year’s World Hockey Championship… for a good reason.
Since @ryanleslie73 was nice enough to get me some followers in Alberta I'll do this one in English too: Mikael Backlund will not play for Sweden in the World Championship. The reason is he'll become a father in May. https://t.co/leNiiDBv7Y
— Jonatan Lindquist (@Lindquistik) April 20, 2019
Backlund, 30, captained the Swedish national team to gold at last year’s Worlds. But since he and his wife are expecting their first child, it makes a lot of sense for him not to attend this year’s event.
Backlund has represented Sweden a ton in his international hockey career: five World Championships, a World Cup, two World Juniors and two World Under-18 tournaments. He’s not missing anything at the Worlds that he hasn’t already experienced several times.