The deal is worth $32.1 million, which means an annual salary cap hit of $5.35 million beginning in 2018-19. Backlund is currently in the final year of a three-year, $10.725-million contract he signed in 2015. He was slated to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
Backlund’s new contract is set to expire in 2024 as he joins Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and team captain Mark Giordano as the only Flames players signed through the 2021-22 campaign. Kris Versteeg, Matt Stajan and Matt Bartkowski are now the only pending UFAs the Flames have to make decisions on.
Flames general manager Treliving told Sportsnet 960 that even though he’s aware there could be a drop-off in production over the course of a six-year term — Backlund will be 35 when this deal expires — he added that the relatively low cap hit was worth the risk for a player Backlund’s calibre.
The Vasteras, Sweden native was selected 24th overall by the Flames in the 2007 NHL Draft and has since developed into one of the top two-way centres in the NHL, finishing fourth in Selke Trophy voting for the 2016-17 season.
Backlund had a career-high 22 goals and 31 assists last season and has 34 points through 58 games this year. The 28-year-old has 104 goals and 158 assists for 262 points in 519 games career regular-season NHL games all spent with the Flames.