"Mikael has an opportunity to step up and attempt to secure a top-two-line center position with our club," Flames general manager Jay Feaster said. "He is a very talented player who skates well, has excellent vision and possesses a strong skill set. As we have discussed with him, Mikael needs to work on his consistency and his focus in order to break through in a top-six role and start to define his role on our team. We are excited about the level of competition that should exist in camp this fall and we expect Mikael to be in the thick of those battles."
Backlund, a native of Vasteras, Sweden, was selected by the Flames with the 24th pick in the 2007 NHL Draft. Last season he compiled four goals, 11 points and 16 penalty minutes in 41 games. In 138 career games, Backlund has 15 goals and 46 points.