NHL News: Flames’ Mikael Backlund Awarded King Clancy Trophy

Posted by Skip Coopersmith

NASHVILLE (June 26, 2023) – Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund is the 2022-23 recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, presented “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.” Backlund will receive a $25,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice.


Each NHL team nominated a player for the King Clancy Trophy, with the three finalists and winner chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.


The selection committee applies the following criteria in determining the finalists and winner:


* Clear and measurable positive impact on the community

* Investment of time and resources

* Commitment to a particular cause or community

* Commitment to the League’s community initiatives

* Creativity of programming

* Use of influence; engagement of others


Backlund, who was drafted by the Flames in 2007 and has spent his entire NHL career in Calgary, has used his platform as a professional athlete to bring attention to many worthy causes. He supports the ALS Society of Alberta in honor of his mother-in-law, who succumbed to the disease when his wife, Frida, was just 19 years old. It also is of importance for Backlund as Flames Assistant General Manager Chris Snow has been battling ALS for the last four years. Backlund and his spouse have raised more than $400,000 for the nonprofit and have welcomed nearly 100 families affected by ALS to home games.


As an ambassador for both Kids Cancer Care and Special Olympics Calgary, Backlund – who had a childhood friend diagnosed with cancer and another who was born with Down syndrome – has invited an additional 500 guests to attend Flames games and meet with him afterward. Most recently, Backlund and his wife partnered with Parachutes for Pets to create Lily’s Legacy, named after their dog who passed away in 2021. This first-of-its-kind program allows children in foster care to keep their pets while they are transitioning into care.


“I’ve always been inspired by people who help others that struggle,” Backlund explained. “I am aware that I have been given the opportunity to live a privileged life and know that a small gesture from me can mean the world to other people.”


Other finalists for this year’s honor were Anders Lee of the New York Islanders and Darnell Nurse of the Edmonton Oilers. Both will receive a $5,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of their choice.


For a list of past King Clancy Memorial Trophy winners, click here.


Posted in NHL