Report: Calgary Flames and Mikael Backlund closing in on two year extension ($4.5 million AAV)
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike2 months ago
It certainly seems as if the Calgary Flames have found their captain. Multiple insiders are reporting that the club and forward Mikael Backlund are closing in on a two year extension with a $4.5 million cap hit.
The 34-year-old Backlund was the Flames’ first-round selection in the 2007 NHL Draft. Originally selected from his hometown team in Vasteras, Sweden, he moved to North America midway through the 2008-09 campaign (playing briefly with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets) and became a full-time NHL player during the 2010-11 season.
Backlund has worked his way up, as the kids say. Originally a fourth-line player who wasn’t put with strong linemates or in high-leverage situations, he gradually built up his two-way play and his coaches’ trust. His game turned a corner starting in 2012-13, and he’s been consistently leaned upon by the Flames – through multiple head coaches – as a tough-minutes centre that can also generate some counterpunch offence in that role. He’s been trusted to mentor several young players and help them round out their games, and he’s become one of the most valued players on the club.
Backlund has served as alternate captain since 2018-19. He’s played the third-most games in franchise history. He’s been a perennial Selke Trophy contender since 2016-17 as the NHL’s top defensive forward, and he was awarded with the league’s King Clancy Memorial Trophy in June for his leadership and humanitarian contributions.
Once official, this extension would keep him with the Flames through the 2025-26 season.
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