Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/20/14

MISSISSAUGA, CANADA - AUGUST 26: Mikael Backlund #60 of the Calgary Flames skates during the Upper Deck NHL Rookie Debut on August 26, 2009 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Mikael Backlund knows the score. The Calgary Flames' 2007 first-round draft choice may only be 23 years old, but after a disappointing 2010-11 season, he is well aware his game must go up a notch this coming season. "If I don't have a good year this year, I might be back in Europe," Backlund said after re-signing with the club. "And I don't want to be there." That possibly seems a little extreme regarding a player so young, but there's no doubt Backlund must take his game to a new level or he'll have a tough time being considered a sure-fire NHL player. Going into last season, Backlund was penciled in to be the top-line center between Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay. His season was derailed by a broken finger just before the season started. After missing a spell due to the injury, which required surgery, he skated in 41 games before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. In those 41 games, Backlund collected just four goals and seven assists, nothing close to expectatio...
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