Mikael Backlund discussed his future with the Calgary Flames and future of the organization in Swedish interview
Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
2 months ago
Interviews with players that haven’t made up their minds on whether or not they’ll be returning to the team that drafted them and that they’ve been with for 15 years are bound to get around quickly, and there were lots of good tidbits in Mikael Backlund’s interview in Swedish with journalist Uffe Bodin. There were lots of topics discussed in the interview, but one in particular that was brought up was the kind of thing that Backlund is looking for in this upcoming season and how he feels currently about coming back to the team.
Via Hockeysverige (and Google Translate):
“It’s not about money, the financial aspect is secondary to me. It’s more me [sitting] and [thinking] about the future and what I want to do,” Backlund explained. “I’ve been in Calgary for a very long time and love the city and have had a great time there, but we haven’t gone as far in the playoffs as you would have liked. It’s my responsibility, too, so I don’t blame others. But you think about it and what happened last year.”
I don’t believe there was any doubt about Backlund loving Calgary, even after all the turmoil that happened with the team last season. Otherwise, the likelihood that he would be here at this point in his career (or even considering coming back) would be slim to none. However, with his time in the National Hockey League dwindling more due to his age and less his effectiveness as a middle-six forward, he hasn’t had many shots to win a Stanley Cup, and that’s a thought that can easily slip its way into the mind of a veteran forward.
Backlund has to be asking himself about what kind of role he wants to take on for the rest of his career. Does he want to be in Calgary for the rest of his time in the NHL? Does he want to accept the role as captain and help guide the younger players in the organization down the right path so they can try to lead the team to the promised land? Or, does he want to try and pursue the lifelong goal of every hockey player and take a shot somewhere else where he is better suited to be lifting the Stanley Cup over his head at the end of the season?
If the 2022-23 King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner wants out of Calgary, there should be plenty of teams that make calls on him. However, if he doesn’t, he will get the opportunity to be the main guy for new head coach Ryan Huska to turn toward in case he needs help. Backlund has said that he is excited to see what kind of changes the new coaching staff and management team implement, and even though we don’t know what lies in the Swedish forward’s future as of now, we will know soon enough.
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