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Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund named finalist for King Clancy Memorial Trophy
By Ryan Pike8 months ago
The Calgary Flames’ longest-tenured active player is headed to the NHL Awards in Nashville at the end of the month. Alternate captain Mikael Backlund was announced on Wednesday as one of three finalists for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The other two finalists are the New York Islanders’ Anders Lee and Edmonton Oilers’ Darnell Nurse.
Awarded annually, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy honours the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community. The winner will receive a $25,000 donation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice. The two runners-up each will receive a $5,000 donation to benefit a charity or charities of their choice.
Each NHL team nominates a player for the King Clancy Trophy, with the three finalists and winner chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
Here’s the league’s blurb on Backlund’s candidacy:
Backlund, who was drafted by the Flames in 2007 and has spent his entire NHL career in Calgary, has used his platform as a professional athlete to bring attention to many worthy causes. He supports the ALS Society of Alberta in honor of his mother-in-law, who succumbed to the disease when his wife, Frida, was just 19 years old. It also is of importance for Backlund as Flames Assistant General Manager Chris Snow has been battling ALS for the last four years. Backlund and his spouse have raised more than $400,000 for the nonprofit and have welcomed nearly 100 families affected by ALS to home games. As an ambassador for both Kids Cancer Care and Special Olympics Calgary, Backlund – who had a childhood friend diagnosed with cancer and another who was born with Down syndrome – has invited an additional 500 guests to attend Flames games and meet with him afterward. Most recently, Backlund and his wife partnered with Parachutes for Pets to create Lily’s Legacy, named after their dog who passed away in 2021. This first-of-its-kind program allows children in foster care to keep their pets while they are transitioning into care. “I’ve always been inspired by people who help others that struggle,” Backlund explained. “I am aware that I have been given the opportunity to live a privileged life and know that a small gesture from me can mean the world to other people.”
Backlund was also the co-winner of the media-voted Peter Maher Award and was the Calgary PHWA chapter’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy this season.
Three Flames have previously been honoured with the King Clancy: Lanny McDonald (1987-88), Joe Nieuwendyk (1994-95) and Jarome Iginla (2003-04).
The NHL Awards will be handed on Monday, June 26 in Nashville.
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