Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund listed at 18th on The Athletic’s trade board

Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
Now that they have a new general manager (Craig Conroy) and are expected to name a new head coach (Ryan Huska) this coming week, now it’s time for the Calgary Flames to dive headlong into problem-solving mode. First and foremost: figuring out which of their 2024 unrestricted free agents want to be around for awhile.
It’s that potential juggling act that likely lands Flames alternate captain Mikael Backlund on the second off-season edition of The Athletic’s trade board.
Backlund is listed at 18th on the board. Teammates Dan Vladar and Elias Lindholm are listed as “others [they’re] watching.”
The 34-year-old Backlund is third in Flames franchise history in games played and is arguably the best 200-foot player the club has ever had. But he was non-committal about his future during his end-of-season media availability. Heck, a lot of players were. But given his age, Backlund might be the most likely guy to be moved simply because the Flames would potentially need to sink too much money into long-term extensions for the likes of Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin (and others) to be able to give Backlund the contract he might be hoping for.
Lindholm’s inclusion as someone to watch is based on him being the team’s top centre and similarly non-committal at his end-of-season media availability. If he’s up for an extension, hooray. If he’s not, he immediately becomes a big, big trade chip.
We’ve written about Vladar extensively in the context of Dustin Wolf’s emergence as a top-flight AHL goaltender. Moving Vladar to open a roster spot for Wolf also opens up a chunk of useful cap space for the Flames, which probably also fuels the possibility of such a move.

Check out these posts...