Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund has been a fan favourite since he cracked the roster in 2009. This season was by far his best in a Flames jersey scoring 21 goals and 26 assists for a total of 47 points in 82 games (Flames website).
These totals are very important to Backlund as well as the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta because for every point he gets, Backlund donates $150 to the organization. That means this season Backlund donated $7,050.
"I hate see young kids getting sick, or being underprivileged. I just want to help out as much as I can."
- Mikael Backlund - Calgary Herald article
Backlund has also aligned with the ALS Society of Alberta and acts as a spokesperson. Besides hosting families at Flames home games throughout the season, Backlund also donates $200 for every point he scores. This season Backlund's 47 points means a $9,400 donation to the organization.
"I like helping others. I was very fortunate, growing up. I want other kids to have the same opportunities that I had."
As if being part of those two great organizations wasn't enough, Backlund is also a spokesperson for the Special Olympics. Mikael is an athlete leader at their Breakfast of Champions event and also plays a little floor hockey with some of the athletes.
On January 8th, 2014, Backlund participated in a slightly modified game of floor hockey with 60 other athletes. Mikael was at an immediate disadvantage as the game was modified to play with straight sticks, similar to ringette sticks and players control a large flattened disc. You can read more on Backlund's experience on the Special Olympics website.
Because of everything Mikael Backlund does on and off the ice, he was awarded with the Ralph T. Scurfield Award in 2013/14. The award is given out annually to the Flames player who demonstrates determination and leadership on and off the ice. Backlund's name is now included with past winners such as Jarome Iginla, Craig Conroy and Lanny McDonald.