Thursday, December 18, 2008

Is Backlund Joining the Rockets?

This article was in the Calgary Sun this morning. This would be huge.

A story out of Sweden -- at least if you read a translation by Google -- says Flames top prospect Mikael Backlund has been threatened with being kicked off his men's league team for poor play.
Flames GM Darryl Sutter didn't want to comment on the record about it at last night's game in Minnesota.
Nor did Backlund's agent, Calgary-based J.P. Barry, who said he wanted to look into the story further to find out what's going on, since the translated version and word of mouth from people he knows overseas didn't clear up the matter.
Backlund, who'll soon be in Ottawa with his country's entry for the world juniors, has only four goals and four assists for his team. He is playing in a third-line role despite an excellent performance in the playoffs last year.
According to a source, it's the Flames that aren't happy with how little the talented centre has been used, losing ice time to men simply because team officials believe Backlund intends to play in North America next season.
Sutter said that wasn't the case.
Still, don't be surprised if Backlund decides he doesn't want to return to Sweden after the world juniors and opts to play junior in Canada, where the Kelowna Rockets hold his rights.


entropyyy said...

this is huge! didnt i hear he was the #1 or #2 coming up on the nhl entry draft? or was that somebody else...europe has alot of people to keep track of! but either way that would be sick. maybe an all euro line to 2nd the california connection? novotny,matejka,backlund. i cant think of a name for the line at the moment,perhaps you can?

Kevin said...

you can only have 2 euros

Regan Bartel said...

You can always drop one.

3stuges said...

Regan, Can you confirm this with BH?

Regan Bartel said...

I can confirm with Bruce...but I did see him talk to Flames GM Darryl Sutter when we stopped in Calgary Sunday afternoon. Were they just saying hello and Merry Christmas or were they indeed discussion the status of BacKlund is beyond me.

caley said...

The guy from Small Thoughts At Large suggested the alternate possibility that Calgary might want Backlund to play for the Hitmen so they can keep closer tabs on him, which would mean Calgary would have to make a deal with Kelowna and that the Rockets could extort an exorbiant price from the Hitmen.

3stuges said...

Backlund info:

3stuges said...

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Calgary Flames general manager Darryl Sutter says he isn't worried over a report out of Sweden that Flames prospect Mikael Backlund could be looking for new employment if he doesn't shine at the upcoming world junior hockey championship in Ottawa.

According to a report by Swedish journalist Robert Pettersson, team officials with Vasteras are threatening to cut the 19-year-old should he falter on behalf of his country.

In 17 games with Vasteras, in the second tier of the Swedish Elite League, Backlund has four goals and four assists.

"There's not only one place in the universe where he can play hockey," Sutter said Wednesday after the Flames defeated the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in overtime.

"As far as I'm concerned, the most important team for him is in world junior. He was a premier player in that tournament."

A year ago, Backlund scored the winning goal in overtime for Sweden in the semifinal against Russia. In six games, he scored three goals and four assists en route to a silver medal.

The Flames selected Backlund in the first round (24th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft with hopes of adding some future offensive punch.

"He's a good player," Sutter said. "I'm just looking forward to seeing him play at the tournament."

Calgary Herald

entropyyy said...

they had this on sattelite hotstove tonight,during hockey night in canada,it was brief,but according to calgary they would prefer him to go to kelowna to play junior,they didnt say anything about their junior team.