It’s safe to say that the last 12 months haven’t gone the way the Calgary Flames expected or hoped, but there have been some shining lights over that period, with several players stepping up and proving just how valuable they can be to a franchise.
Tyler Toffoli, Mackenzie Weegar and Rasmus Andersson are a few names for Calgary, but none are more deserving of praise than veteran center Mikael Backlund, who completed his 15th season with the Flames in 2022-23, and now, he has been rewarded in a big way. At the NHL Awards, Backlund was officially honoured as the winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, given to the player that best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice as well as making noteworthy contributions to the community.
Many Flames fans know of Backlund’s gritty play style, leadership and tremendous effort on the ice, but he’s also an exemplary human off the ice, as he and his wife Frida have dedicated themselves to serving the Calgary community for the entire time they have been with the Flames. On the ice however, Backlund put together a career best season at 33-years of age, tallying 19 goals and 37 assists for 56 points while playing in all 82 games once again.
On top of this win, Backlund was sixth in voting for the Selke Award that honours the leagues top defensive forward, and while it may be the last we are seeing of No. 11 in Calgary, it’s safe to say he’s going out behind honoured the way he deserves after many fantastic years for the Flames.