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Calgary Flames will start season without Swedish centre Mikael Backlund

The Canadian Press
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Calgary Flames\' Cory Sarich, left, celebrates his game winning goal with teammate Mikael Backlund, from Sweden, during third period NHL hockey action against the Dallas Stars in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Backlund will miss up to six weeks of the NHL season with a finger injury.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh Author: The Hockey News

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Calgary Flames will start season without Swedish centre Mikael Backlund

The Canadian Press
By:

BANFF, Alta. - Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund will miss up to six weeks of the NHL season with a finger injury.

The Flames confirmed reports Tuesday the 22-year-old forward required surgery on his finger and will sit out the opening weeks of the season.

Calgary's season-opener is Saturday at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Backlund was pegged as a possible first-line centre between captain Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay.

The Swede was Calgary's first-round pick, 24th overall, in the 2007 NHL entry draft. He had 10 goals and 15 assists in 73 games in 2010-11, which was his first full season in the NHL.

The Flames were skating in Banff, Alta., on Tuesday.

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Calgary Flames will start season without Swedish centre Mikael Backlund