Former Rocket Mikael Backlund named captain of Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames announced today that former Kelowna Rocket Mikael Backlund has been named the 21st captain in Flames franchise history.
“This is a very special day for my family and I,” said Backlund. “Calgary is our home and to know that we will continue my playing career here is important to us. As well, the possibility to play 1000th game this year as a Flame and celebrate it with our fans and the community is significant to me.”
“I’m as equally proud to be named the captain of this historic franchise,” continued Backlund. I’m ready for the responsibility that goes with wearing the C and I’m surrounded by a strong leadership group in our locker room that will help us take the next step toward winning the Stanley Cup.”
He was selected 43rd overall by the Rockets in the first round of the 2007 CHL Import Draft. After capturing a silver medal with Sweden at the 2009 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, Backlund joined the Rockets for the remainder of the 2008-09 season, helping Kelowna capture the 2009 WHL Championship.
Backlund has played his entire 908-game NHL career in Calgary and is the longest tenured active skater on the Flames, with his NHL debut coming back on January 8th, 2009. Backlund was first named an assistant captain during the 2017-18 season and has worn an ‘A’ on his jersey for the past six seasons. Backlund is the first captain of the Flames since the 2020-21 season.
“Mikael Backlund is our captain. He has been our captain for some time. Today we are excited to extend Mikael for two more seasons and officially add the captaincy to his jersey,” said Flames General Manager Craig Conroy. “We look forward to his continued leadership on the ice, in the locker room and in our community.”
This past June, Mikael Backlund was named the 2023 King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner for his humanitarian efforts throughout the 2022-23 season, becoming the first Flames player to win the award since Jarome Iginla in 2003-04. As an ambassador for the ALS Society of Alberta, Kids Cancer Care, Special Olympics Calgary, and Parachutes for Pets, Backlund has invited over 500 people to Flames games with programs that includes a special meet-and-greet with the Backlund family after the game.
He joins Shea Weber (Nashville, Montreal) and Jamie Benn (Dallas) as former Rockets to have captained NHL clubs.