Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/24/13
For the record, Mikael Backlund wants to stay. The Calgary Flames centre is suddenly the subject of trade speculation, with TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting Friday on Twitter that four or five teams have ‘kicked tires’ on Backlund and the Flames are ‘willing to move him.’ “I get Twitter, so I saw it on there. And I watch TSN, so I heard it there, too,” Backlund said after Saturday’s practice at the Saddledome. “Watching TV and my name comes up, it’s a little surprising. But at the same time, it’s part of the business and it hasn’t been a great start, so you kind of expect it, too, a little bit.” Backlund has just two goals and five helpers in 22 contests for the Flames this season. The 24-year-old Swede has been leapfrogged by rookie Sean Monahan and hometown boy Joe Colborne on Calgary’s depth chart at centre and is currently working as the middle man on the fourth line. Backlund has some offensive upside, so other teams might be targeting the 6-foot, 198-lb. pivot as a buy-low candidate who could benefit from a change of scenery. For a rebuilding bunch like the Flames, it wouldn’t make sense to move the young forward if the return didn’t include a guy in the same age range. While Backlund was hoping to carve out an increased role in his fourth full season at the Saddledome, Calgary’s first-round pick from the 2007 NHL Draft insisted he’s not looking for a one-way ticket out of town.
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