Flames name Matthew Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund as alternate captains

The Calgary Flames missed the playoffs, but with an exciting core and new leadership joining the room like James Neal, there’s lots to look forward to this season.

The Calgary Flames have named forwards Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund as alternate captains for the 2018-19 season.

Tkachuk and Backlund take the place of Troy Brouwer, who’s no longer with the team, joining star centre Sean Monahan among the team’s leadership group.

Only 20 years old, Tkachuk is about to enter his third season in the NHL after getting taken sixth overall in 2016 by Calgary and earning a reputation as both a talented young winger with a lot of potential and someone who can consistently get underneath his opponents’ skin.

Backlund, the 24th-overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, has spent his entire 10-year NHL career in the Flames organization, emerging as a key depth piece for the club.

Mark Giordano remains the captain of the team, and has been so since the 2013-14 campaign.

The Flames open their season Wednesday night in Vancouver.

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