Backlund makes home for himself in Calgary

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:36 PM ET

Mikael Backlund got his Christmas present early from the Calgary Flames.

Told to buy his own place this year, he moved into a new home in December -- big enough to host his family and friends from overseas during the NHL's two-day holiday break.

"It's real nice, and I'm really excited," Backlund said before Christmas. "A lot of my family is going to be over.

"It's going to be pretty busy there. I got a little bigger place than I needed, but I need a lot of space. I've got a lot of people over."

His mom and dad, his sister, his grandparents and his best friend from back home were all expected to visit him before the new year.

And despite being just 21, Backlund was prepared to be a fully functioning host.

"I had my own place in Sweden, so I'm used to living by myself," the Flames rookie said before admitting his mom will take over the kitchen when she visits.

He was looking forward to great meals.

"Some Swedish dishes," he added with a smile. "I know my favourites, and they're really good. I'm excited for her to make them."

Backlund considers himself a good cook but wasn't comfortable taking over the stove at agent J.P. Barry's pad in Calgary, where he had been living, so it's been a while since he slipped on the apron.

"I've been really lazy this fall -- I've only cooked myself once," Backlund added. "I was living at my agent's house. I just don't like cooking in other people's kitchens.

"I'll probably do more now."

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