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Hot Talk: Mikael Backlund shines in Calgary Flames win over Ottawa Senators

They need to figure out if he wants to be here, what they might be able to work out on salary and term … but he owes them nothing.



Craig Ellingson: Rasmus Andersson had some nice things to say about Mikael Backlund after Sunday’s game, praising his leadership along with his play (Backlund scored a goal and added two assists, including one on Andersson’s goal, in Sunday’s 5-1 win over Ottawa). Backlund’s not always in the spotlight, but he’s having a great year.

Steve Macfarlane: He’s been incredible. As usual, he's severely underrated in the NHL. He should be a Selke finalist. He always seems to be runner-up behind the player who wins. Backlund's on pace for a career-high in points. Not his highest goal total — unless that rises down the stretch —  but he’s their captain without the ‘C.’


CE: Seems like yesterday to me when Backlund joined the Flames (first-round pick by Calgary in 2007, NHL debut came in January 2010.) I guess I’m just getting old. It’s great to see a player stick with one franchise for that long.

When it was suggested the Flames might move him at the deadline, it seemed odd to me, like it's not something management or ownership would consider doing even if they were definitely out of the playoff race.

SM: To be honest I thought there was a chance. They haven’t named him captain because of his contract. I think there is some real uncertainty there and it could be revisited in the off-season. 

They need to figure out if he wants to be here, what they might be able to work out on salary and term … but he owes them nothing so he could choose to move on for more money and maybe a better chance to win a Stanley Cup.

CE: There will be plenty of things the Flames will need to figure out in the off-season including Backlund’s situation. I wonder who’ll still be here when the smokes clears.

SM: So much could happen. Any new GM that isn’t an interim Sutter could move a couple of the pending UFAs easily. Sutter — if Brad Treliving bolts and the coach turns back time by jumping in — could run it back with the same group and see where they are at next year come the NHL trade deadline.

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