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Mikael Backlund update

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Backlund will be on the second line next year. I mean why not? We need speed and we need youth. That is what we need to get in the offseason. And get rid of Conroy.

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Backlund will be on the second line next year. I mean why not? We need speed and we need youth. That is what we need to get in the offseason. And get rid of Conroy.

But Conroy is one of our most consistent and hard-working players. He'll likely retire after he plays out his contract next year so I think he's worth hanging onto until then!

My only concern with Backlund being part of the team next year is that I'm still not convinced he can handle playing hard-checking North American hockey. The WHL is a far cry from the NHL physically and while he has soft hands and good skating ability, I have to question his preparation to handle the big hits without getting himself hurt.

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But Conroy is one of our most consistent and hard-working players. He'll likely retire after he plays out his contract next year so I think he's worth hanging onto until then!

My only concern with Backlund being part of the team next year is that I'm still not convinced he can handle playing hard-checking North American hockey. The WHL is a far cry from the NHL physically and while he has soft hands and good skating ability, I have to question his preparation to handle the big hits without getting himself hurt.

Yes Conroy is a hard-working player...maybe one more year.

But YOUTH. we need younger players in my opinion.

And yes that is true about the WHL being a lot less physical. But Backlund has the SKILL. We know that.

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For the playoffs, its honestly worth it. I would recommend to everyone in Calgary to go and watch at least a game. Hopefully i'm not jinxing it, but Backlund has truly been awesome to watch these playoffs. Every game I watch, he is the best player (next to Tyler Myers) on the ice, and thats impressive when you place Vancouver and remember they have one of the top prospects on their team in Evandor Kane.

Now that I say that, he'll probably suck, but really there have been maybe 2 games this plays (one of which wsa following an injury) where I thought, or I read, that Backlund was a non factor.

I agree, it's definitely worth it. When I went to Giants-Rockets game 1, tickets were like $53.30 for a pair, that includes everything. especially if you want to see Backlund, but also cheap admission to see a lot of other talented kids too is a nice bonus.

I find Kelowna to be pretty physical. Maybe not NHL level, but Backlund does get in there as well. This whole playoff run is a good experience for him.

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Wow, that plus minus is really impressive. I know that stat can be misleading, but thats a really positive sign. Everybody knows how good he can be offensively but what really excites me, is the prospect of having such a talented 2 WAY forward. I'm hoping Kelowna wins it all. I really think if he keeps working on his consistency he'll be with the Flames next fall. If so Im getting a new jersey.

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What if he makes it out of camp and looks good well in to December?

Poses an interesting problem, somebody has to give if Jokinen is still around (assuming he'll not be moved for a pick in the off season).

Potential centre depth

Jokinen

Langkow

Backlund

Boyd

Conroy

Primeau

Jokinen can play wing, so can Boyd.

Jokinen - Backlund - Iginla

Bourque - Langkow - Boyd

Glencross - Conroy - Moss

Nystrom - Primeau - ?

I could live with that, assuming Backlund can take a spot.

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I personally don't think people should be worried about Backlund's physicality. He has the frame and body type to withstand it as he is quite strong. What you want to see from a player coming from a European style to NA is how does he approach the physical game. Is he going to rest on his skill and make people came at him and try to adjust, or is he going to them to fit in. Backlund fits in the later. I'm actually quite suprised how engaged he is physically in the WHL. Now, keep in mind that doens't mean that I think its not going to be an adjustment to the NHL. Of course it is. But you want to see that type of attitude in a player to know if he has it. If Backlund was simply resting on his skill, not getting invovled physically then yes I would worry. But he doens't. He'll throw the body, he'll check in close, and he'll come right at your, rather than go around you.

In terms of next year, its iffy to me. The problem with Backlund is two fold IMO. 1- yes you have great center depth and you'd likely have to move someone (Backlund does not look good on the wing). 2- if you move someone, can the Flames afford to be patient?. What I mean by that, is most Rookies that are highly skilled (Backlund included IMO) rarely have an immediate impact. YOu look at guys like Kane, Backstrom or STamkos, they took time. Becuase when you are highly skilled it takes time for you to adapt your game to the speed of the game. So can the Flames afford to bank on Backlund as a top 6 forward, and allow him to take his time to develop for a few months?

Backlund could have played in the NHL this year if the Flames were a developing team. I think his skill set and his skating are NHL calibre, but its not going to be an immediate impact.

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While what you say is true cross. I would argue, Backlund won't have to carry the load like Kane and Backstrom. Those guys weren't surrounded with Veteran players and good ones I might add. They were more looked at to get it done right away, with very young cores. I think this would be the perfect environment for a skilled player such as Backlund, to get accustomed to the NHL. Thers's lots of guys he can lean on in that Flames locker room.

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While what you say is true cross. I would argue, Backlund won't have to carry the load like Kane and Backstrom. Those guys weren't surrounded with Veteran players and good ones I might add. They were more looked at to get it done right away, with very young cores. I think this would be the perfect environment for a skilled player such as Backlund, to get accustomed to the NHL. Thers's lots of guys he can lean on in that Flames locker room.

I agree, but I don't beleve expecations or pressure is whats going to take Backlund time to get use to. I think its just the speed, physicality, and the system. No different than when he first got to the WHL. Theres always an adjustment process for a player like Backlund, becuase his greatest asset is his vision and hockey sense. That has to now adjust to a fasters, bigger, and more physical game, as well as new teammates. Thats why I think it'l take time. I'm not saying years and years or something, just a matter of months or so. Rookies that tend to have an immediate impact are guys who are bigger, and use their size or agression to their advantage ala a Milan Lucic.

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I personally don't think people should be worried about Backlund's physicality. He has the frame and body type to withstand it as he is quite strong.

Well, from the one game i've ever watched of Backlund, he looked like a Huselius-type player with Huselius-like potential but only weaker and softer. By weak and soft, i mean, think Dustin Boyd's rookie season. If an NHL player even puts a little pinky finger on him, he'll collapse to the ice and stay down for 5-minutes... quite literally.

He's listed as 6'-0" 194lb but that sounds too generous. He needs to bulk up to like 195-200 lb of solid matter with like 3% body fat or less. Then, and only then, can he handle the physical abuse of the NHL game.

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"I just like to play those big games," he admitted. "I get more excited and, of course, in the playoffs if you lose a game, you can be out. I love those games that mean a lot. The playoffs bring a lot of pressure and I love those types of games.

So much for fitting in with the rest of the Calgary Flames :P

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I saw parts of the Rockets-Hitmen game tonight and Backlund looked good. He got one point. I liked his play on the powerplay. We can surely use him up here. :P

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Im actually kinda nervous about backlund .. because sutter never seems to keep skilled,non north american players :ph34r: always the gritty guys that cant do anything.

Obviously you haven't been listening to the huge amount of praises that Sutter has been giving Backlund year round? Hes not letting him go unless its for like a Tavares or something right now.

We do have skilled players as well and look we recently acquired a big European that goes by the name of Jokinen.

Do you know what you are talking about really?

Anyways I was listening to the fan960 and Backlund was having a strong game it sounded like. Pleased to hear he can rip up the juniors, now if he can translate that into pro then we are golden.

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In reference to the other Backlund thread that was shut down. It was stated that Mullen was the last Flames player to hit 100 points (1989). That is wrong, I am sure Fleury did it twice in the early 90s.

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That was my thread that was shut down :lol: funny thing is, some idoit who posted on it before it was shut down was that backlund will only be a 60-70 point player.. ? i see a points per game player on him :blink:

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That was my thread that was shut down :lol: funny thing is, some idoit who posted on it before it was shut down was that backlund will only be a 60-70 point player.. ? i see a points per game player on him :blink:

It might be best to wait for him to actually start playing for the Flames before predicting how many points he's capable of per season. Lots of guys have done well in the minors and been complete flops at the NHL level, just look at Anders Eriksson.

Backlund definitely has speed and skill at his disposal, but it remains to be seen whether that will carry over to the more physical NHL game where his lack of strength might hold him back.

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It might be best to wait for him to actually start playing for the Flames before predicting how many points he's capable of per season. Lots of guys have done well in the minors and been complete flops at the NHL level, just look at Anders Eriksson.

Didn't Stephane Yelle win the scoring race in juniors?

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For anyone who's interested, Kelowna is leading the Hitmen 2-0 in the series. Backlund currently has 2 goals and an assist in the series.

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For anyone who's interested, Kelowna is leading the Hitmen 2-0 in the series. Backlund currently has 2 goals and an assist in the series.

I was just going to post a thread on this actually. I'm shocked. I know Kelowna is a good team, but man, Hitmen...

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two goals for Backlund last night. Rockets take 2-0 lead in series!!! That bodes well for the future

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Definitely, Backlund is getting more and more promising every game. Here's hoping he can keep up that level of production in the NHL!

It will definitely be interesting to see at training camp how his year in NA has developed him from his relatively disappointing performance last year. I have a feeling he's going to look leaps and bounds better.

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