Calgary Flames announce Mikael Backlund extension (2 years, $4.5 million AAV) and name him captain
Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike2 months ago
The Calgary Flames’ longest-tenured current player will remain with the franchise for awhile yet. The club officially announced on Wednesday afternoon a two-year contract extension for forward Mikael Backlund, spanning the 2024-25 and 2025-26 seasons, which carry a cap hit each season of $4.5 million.
Backlund has also been named the club’s captain. Per The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, Backlund’s deal carries a full no-move clause that begins immediately, as well as a 15-team no-trade clause that begins Jan. 1, 2026.
Backlund, 34, is in the final year of a six year extension he signed back in 2018 that carries a $5.35 million cap hit. That deal prevented him from becoming an unrestricted free agent well in advance of him reaching free agency, much like this one does. At the time, Backlund was in the midst of a stretch of very good hockey that saw him enter a class of players we’ll call “The Selke Bunch.”
That stretch of strong hockey arguably hasn’t fully ended for the Swede, who’s posted very good two-way numbers dating back to 2016-17. He’s been a fixture on the club’s power play and penalty kill for several seasons, and he’s been the club’s dedicated “tough minutes” centre as well. Even with facing the league’s top offensive performers, he’s regularly posted respectable offensive numbers himself. His calling card is his two-way play, but he’s no slouch in the offensive zone.
Backlund has served as an alternate captain with the club since 2018-19. In a media release, general manager Craig Conroy explained the move(s):
“Mikael Backlund is our captain. He has been our captain for some time. Today we are excited to extend Mikael for two more seasons and officially add the captaincy to his jersey,” said Flames General Manager Craig Conroy. “We look forward to his continued leadership on the ice, in the locker room and in our community.”
Backlund has played 908 career regular season games with the Flames dating back to his NHL debut in January 2009. Only Jarome Iginla and Mark Giordano have played more games with the franchise. Barring anything unforeseen, Backlund should play in his 1,000th NHL game sometime during the 2024-25 season.
Backlund is the 21st captain in franchise history, following Keith McCreary, Pat Quinn, Tom Lysiak, Jean Pronovost, Brad Marsh, Phil Russell, Doug Risebrough, Jim Peplinski, Lanny McDonald, Tim Hunter, Brad McCrimmon, Joe Nieuwendyk, Theoren Fleury, Todd Simpson, Steve Smith, Dave Lowry, Bob Boughner, Conroy, Iginla and Giordano.
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