With the end of the 2019-20 regular season comes the announcement of several team awards for the Calgary Flames. Veteran centre Mikael Backlund has been named this season’s recipient of the Peter Maher Good Guy Award.
Congratulations to Mikael Backlund, who is the recipient of the Peter Maher Award! pic.twitter.com/jYqZu2e54U
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) June 4, 2020
Selected by local media, the honour is awarded to the Flames player that best demonstrates the virtues of Peter Maher: sincerity, integrity, dedication and respect. (Disclosure: I have a vote.) A dozen different players received votes during the balloting.
The previous winners of the award were Travis Hamonic (2018-19), Matt Stajan (2017-18), Chad Johnson (2016-17) and Joe Colborne (2013-14 through 2015-16).
Originally selected by the Flames way, way back in 2007, Backlund has played NHL games every season since 2008-09. The second longest-tenured current Flame, behind only Mark Giordano, Backlund is an alternate captain and has become relied upon to center the shutdown line alongside Matthew Tkachuk and a rotating cast of wingers. He had 45 points in 70 games prior to the shutdown, and was arguably the team’s hottest player over the final 20 games.
From a media perspective, Backlund is a huge resource as a veteran forward who plays in all situations five on five and on both sides of special teams. Based on the premise of the award, he’s a very deserving winner.