Olli Jokinen left the Calgary Flames’ pre-season matchup with the Phoenix Coyotes last night in the middle of the second period with an undisclosed mid-body injury. Temporarily stepping in for Jokinen between Niklas Hagman and Jarome Iginla was Alex Tanguay but don’t expect that to be a long term solution.
If Jokinen misses any extended amount of time, second-year player Mikael Backlund will surely be asked upon to take a bigger role in the Flames offense. Calgary is still without Matt Stajan (separated shoulder) and Daymond Langkow (neck) leaving a gaping hole down the middle.
If Backlund does need to step up, he does have the talent to be a serviceable center but he won’t be a long-term fantasy option. Last season with the Flames, Backlund posted just 1 goal and 9 assists in 23 games.