SUN Hockey Pool

Backlund out in Sweden?

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:59 AM ET

A story out of Sweden -- at least if you read a translation by Google -- says Flames top prospect Mikael Backlund has been threatened with being kicked off his men's league team for poor play.

Flames GM Darryl Sutter didn't want to comment on the record about it at last night's game in Minnesota.

Nor did Backlund's agent, Calgary-based J.P. Barry, who said he wanted to look into the story further to find out what's going on, since the translated version and word of mouth from people he knows overseas didn't clear up the matter.

Backlund, who'll soon be in Ottawa with his country's entry for the world juniors, has only four goals and four assists for his team. He is playing in a third-line role despite an excellent performance in the playoffs last year.

According to a source, it's the Flames that aren't happy with how little the talented centre has been used, losing ice time to men simply because team officials believe Backlund intends to play in North America next season.

Sutter said that wasn't the case.

Still, don't be surprised if Backlund decides he doesn't want to return to Sweden after the world juniors and opts to play junior in Canada, where the Kelowna Rockets hold his rights.


Videos

Photos