This is where we belong - Flames’ Backlund

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This is where we belong – Flames’ Backlund

CALGARY – Stitching the C on Mikael Backlund’s sweater may have been the easiest decision the Calgary dears have ever made.

On Wednesday, the dears ended days of enterprise by subscribing the 34- time-old centre to a two- time contract extension with an average periodic value of$4.5 million and naming him the 21st captain in ballot history. Calgary has not had a captain since Mark Giordano was chosen by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 expansion draft.

The dears drafted Backlund 24th overall in 2007. The Vasteras, Sweden, native, who had a career-high 56 points last season, including 19 pretensions, could have come an unrestricted free agent in July of 2024 and had suggested at conceivably going that route in April after the platoon missed the playoffs. rather, he returned to Calgary after the summer and felt rejuvenated under a new head trainer in Ryan Huska and new general director in Craig Conroy.

Backlund soaked in the new energy around the Saddledome at training camp, a far happier and healthier place than when he left following the end of the 2022- 23 season. He spoke to suckers while out at the grocery store. And after putting together a pros and cons list on paper, he and his woman
, Frida, decided that Calgary was where they wanted to be.

“ We came over then, saw a lot of people, people were so agitated, hoping we’d stay, ” he said.

“ Getting a lot of appreciation from the suckers, just on the thoroughfares or in the grocery store,( the dears ’) golf event.( We) could really feel the love and appreciation. ”

The once couple of weeks, several players, including Jonathan Huberdeau, Rasmus Andersson and Nikita Zadorov, have said intimately that Backlund was the captain, indeed if he didn’t have the C on his jersey yet.

“ When you talk to these guys there was n’t really a alternate choice( for captain) if tails was then and wanted to stay, ” Conroy said.

“ That was to a man. I suppose everyone felt the same way. ”

As a teammate, players say that Backlund instructors youngish dears, organizes social events, and is n’t hysterical to go to trainers and operation to advocate for a day off or a lighter practice schedule if they need it. Backlund leads by illustration, is constantly among the fittest dears and does redundant work on the ice. Teammates and operation notice.

“ When the captain’s in the spa, guess what? ” Conroy said. “ Everyone differently is in the spa. ”

“ When he’s out doing extra( work) on the ice, they ’re out doing extra( work) on the ice. ”

“ He was one of the first guys that texted me after I got drafted, ” Andersson said.

“ When you ’re at the camps when you ’re youngish, he took care of you and once you made the platoon, he took care of you indeed more. ”

Conroy refocused out that Backlund has not been hysterical to have honest, tough exchanges with fellow dears.

“ He’s having hard exchanges with players, ” the GM said.

“ He’s grueling players. That’s not always easy you ’re musketeers. You do n’t want to have those hard exchanges but I did hear Backs was having them. ‘ We need further from you. ’ He’s not doing it in front of everybody. He was taking them away and saying, ‘ Hey, that’s not goodenough.However, we need further from you, If we ’re going to do well then. ’”

Backlund was having those hard exchanges as lately as Monday evening. Blueliner MacKenzie Weegar was tossed from the preseason game versus the Seattle Kraken that evening. The first person to give him grief? The soon- to- be captain.

“ He was the first joe to come up to me after the game and give me s– t for getting demurred out of the game, ” Weegar said.

“ That’s great leadership there. I demanded that. ”

Backlund’s impact goes well beyond the dears.

He and Frida are masses in the Calgary community, constantly attending colorful charity events and fundraisers. Last season, he won the King Clancy Memorial jewel for leadership and community involvement. As a youngish player, he’d frequently bring leftover food from the Saddledome to a homeless sanctum after games. Now with the C formally sutured on his sweater, Backlund’s community involvement will continue.

His thing on the ice in his new part this forthcoming season is a simple bone
.

“ I ’ve only got one charge in mind now, ” he said.

“ And it’s to win then in Calgary. It’s to bring the Cup back to Calgary I felt like this is where we belong. ”

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