A few months ago it was widely reported that Mikael Backlund would not want to sign an extension with the Calgary Flames as he wanted to see how things would play out on the last year of his current contract.
Well, how times have changed, Backlund has agreed to terms with the Flames on a 2-year, $4.5 million extension that will carry through the 2026-27 season. The Flames also announced Backlund as the 21st Captain in franchise history, something Flames fans have been waiting on since Mark Giordano was selected by the Kraken in the expansion draft in the summer of 2021.
The contract will include a no move clause that will kick in immediately for the full 3 seasons, and a no trade exception kicks in on January 1st, 2026 where Backlund will be able to eliminate 15 teams that he would not want to go to should he be traded.
A hometown discount
Elliotte Freidman wrote on 32 Thoughts yesterday that he thought the extension would come in at around $5.5 million and on 2-year terms. Things have changed and Backlund has taken a discount both on term and AAV to stay in Calgary, a classy move for a classy guy.
What does this mean for the Flames?
Backlund sticking around means a ton for the Flames, he is not only a very important piece to the Flames on the ice, but he means a lot to the franchise off the ice. We know about Backlund’s play on the ice, incredible two-way player, plays against the oppositions top player on a night to night basis and has become one of the best middle 6 centres in the game.
What some may not know is his work off the ice. Backlund has been incredibly active in the Flames community since he arrived in Calgary as a rookie. This past year he won the King Clancy Trophy at the NHL Awards, an award that is handed out to the player who best exemplifies leadership quantities on and off the ice. Backlund has also supported ALS research as his main charitable contribution for many years. He is the best type of person you may ever find.
Backlund being the captain now will also mean a ton to the team, city and the fanbase as they have been without a captain for the past two seasons, and whenever the captain conversation has been brought up, Backlund’s name has always been at the top of the list, not only in the media, nut all of the players believed it too.
A Calgary Flame for life
With the extension, this should keep Backlund in a Flames uniform for the rest of his career, it would have been extremely distasteful to see him end his career on a different team. Assuming he stays healthy, Backlund is on track to become only the second Calgary Flame ever to play 1000 games in a Flames uniform, an accomplishment only achieved by Jarome Iginla.
I think I can speak for all Flames fans when I say I am super happy that Backlund was extended and also becoming the Captain, it was very well deserved. Congratulations, Mikael!