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Backlund, Frolik to play in Sunday's game vs. Jets

Both forwards will make their pre-season debut when the Flames host the Jets

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers /

CALGARY, AB -- Mikael Backlund is getting back to work.

Backlund, who hasn't played since sustaining a concussion on Sept. 20 while representing Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey 2016, will return to the lineup and play his first pre-season game when the Calgary Flames host the Winnipeg Jets at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

"I've been feeling good now for almost a week," Backlund said. "I've been skating. It's my fourth day skating. I feel good."

Backlund sustained the injury after taking a high hit from defenceman Sami Lepisto in Team Sweden's 2-0 round-robin win against Team Finland. He is expected to skate on a line with winger Michael Frolik.

Frolik, who represented Team Czech Republic at the World Cup, will also be making his pre-season debut. 

"I told [Frolik] and [Backlund] today, when we were doing the first drill, holidays are over," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "It's time to get going." 

The pair spent much of the 2015-16 together.

Backlund set career-bests with 21 goals and 47 points while playing in 82 games last season, and Frolik had 15 goals and 32 points in 64 games in his first season with Calgary.

"I think it was just a natural click right away," Backlund said. "We both play a similar game … good, solid two-way game. We like to work hard. We play all situations. It just came naturally last year. He's a good guy, too, off the ice. He's easy to talk to.

"It just makes everything easy."

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