The Calgary Flames revealed a disturbing nugget of injury news Friday afternoon upon landing on the West Coast.
Centre Mikael Backlund, 23, is out with a Grade 2 sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his knee suffered in Thursday's 4-3 overtime victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Arguably playing the best hockey of his young career, Backlund has three goals and four points this season in eight games playing primarily with Lee Stempniak and Curtis Glencross.
He is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Talk about terrible timing for a player seemingly born again this season under head coach Bob Hartley.
"Obviously, it's disappointing, said general manager Jay Feaster.
"It's disappointing for him. He's frustrated. He had such a great start."
A great start buoyed in no small part by a stint playing in his hometown of Vasteras, Sweden during the NHL lockout.
By the time training camp rolled around in January, Backlund looked every bit the part of a first round (24th overall) pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
"He came back with a lot of confidence," Feaster said.
"He had a swagger to his game.
Injury blows centre's swagger
Calgary Herald | Feb 9