On Wednesday, the Flames made a couple of announcements that changed some things for their team. Both bits of news revolve around Mikael Backlund. He is a very good player that the Flames love having.
Backlund came into training camp with one year left on his contract worth $5.35 million. That made some wonder about his future with the Flames after so many good years there. With the way things have gone for the Flames lately, it was easy to see the worst happening.
However, things can change quickly. The first announcement was that the Flames had given him a contract extension. It is for two more years at $4.5 million. This is a great deal for both sides. At 34 years old, Backlund still has some amazing years left.
The Calgary Flames clearly love having Mikael Backlund on their team.
The second announcement was that Backlund was going to be the 21st captain in franchise history. Obviously, that is a tremendous honor for him as he has been such a great Calgary Flames player for a long time.
He went from being someone who was on the trade block to the captain of the franchise. He is well deserving of this and he will wear the C with pride. Leading an NHL franchise but he has all of the tools that he needs to be that guy.
The Flames were one of the most disappointing teams in the NHL last season. They came up just short of being a playoff team which was painful to watch for such a talented team. This year, they will be looking for a bounce-back type of season from a lot of people.
There is also a new head coach as Ryan Huska is taking the spot of Darryl Sutter. Of course, Sutter was very successful during his NHL career as both a player and coach. With that said, it was a time for change in Calgary. They needed a fresh voice and Huska is going to be just that.
Having Backlund as the captain of the team will certainly help Huska adjust to being a head coach in the NHL. It is hard to tell if this will lead to them being a playoff team again but it is easy to tell that this was a great decision regardless. Backlund deserves both the contract and the captain “C”.