Mikael Backlund, one of Calgary’s top two projected centers, hasn’t skated since the Flames broke training camp — and that lack of action is starting to concern head coach Bob Hartley.
“I don’t have any news to tell you,” Hartley said on Monday, per NHL.com. “But I’m worried.”
Backlund, 25, suffered the injury late in his summer training program in his native Sweden. He arrived in Calgary shortly thereafter and informed trainers of the situation, but details about the severity of the ailment — or potential timetable for return — have been limited since then.
“I don’t want to put a timeline on it,” Backlund said on Friday, per the Calgary Herald. “It’s hard to say. I don’t want to put a timeline and then get disappointed. Just taking it day by day and seeing it progress.”
Losing Backlund for any significant length of time would be tough on the Flames. He, along with Sean Monahan, carry the load for Calgary down the middle; Backlund was a vital contributor on the penalty kill last season while posting career highs in goals (18) and points (39).