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Mikael Backlund Shares What Would Secure His Future w/ Flames

Mikael Backlund’s future with the Flames remains uncertain, but he knows what he needs to be convinced to stay.

As the Calgary Flames gear up for the upcoming NHL season, one prominent name that has been surrounded by uncertainty is that of Mikael Backlund. The center, who has been a key player for the Flames, is entering the final year of his contract, and his future with the team remains undecided.

Backlund’s contract situation took an intriguing turn last spring when he declared that he wouldn’t sign an extension during the summer. His decision was driven by a desire to assess the direction in which the organization was heading. With significant changes happening over the past year, including alterations to the coaching staff, management shifts, and the departure of key stars, Backlund wanted to ensure that the Flames were on a positive trajectory.

Mikael Backlund Flames trade rumors
Mikael Backlund Flames trade rumors

Eric Francis of Sportsnet writes that Backlund is now back in Calgary and was asked if anything had changed since he last made comments about his future in Calgary. “I’m still feeling that way,” he said. That said, he expressed his excitement about the team and his love for Calgary, emphasizing that he hasn’t closed any doors regarding his future with the Flames.

Backlund, in outlining what could influence his decision to stay with the Flames, highlighted the importance of winning. He expressed that a successful season, where the team performs well, gels together, and contends in the division, would be a significant factor in favor of an extension. Specifically, he noted that winning would help him change his mind. He explained:

“If we have a really good season and things feel really good, the mood is different and everyone is excited and everyone fits in and everything works, and we’re contending to be a top three team (in the division) going into the second half – that would be a big thing for me.”

As the Flames and Backlund navigate this contract year, the hope for both parties is a season filled with early success. Whether Backlund ultimately remains with the Flames or explores other options remains to be seen, but Ws are the safest way to get him comfortable.

As for how much the Flames will be relying on him, Francis tweeted that GM Craig Conroy provided insight into the team’s captaincy timeline, indicating that the Flames plan to name their captain before the season begins. While Mikael Backlund would have been a strong candidate had he extended his contract over the summer, the uncertainty surrounding his future has led to speculation that Rasmus Andersson might assume the captaincy.

Next: Carey Price Talks Future, Knee Injury, and Being Open to Trade

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