Monday, June 14, 2010

Backlund happy to stay

Johan Backlund is happy to re-sign with the Flyers.

"It feels really good", he says. "I've been determined to stay and take a spot in the NHL. It's been my goal, so it feels good to get the extension here."

There were many teams in Sweden interested in signing him as well.

"There was some interest", he confirms. "My agent got some inquiries on if I had interest in coming back. But the season went on for so long and my goal was to stay here, so no negotiations or deeper discussions ever took place."

"It's been a great learning experience. It's been up and down, I was assigned to the AHL and I got to play there. Then I got to be up with the Flyers in the end, but unfortunately I got injured when I got my chance. But it's been a very nice season. To be around in the playoffs was a great experience. Everything overall has been awesome."

Backlund's NHL debut was the most memorable moment for him, despite his injury.

"Even if it was just two periods, it's a memory that I will always have with me. The whole playoffs were also really great with all that happened. But when I got my debut, that's the memory I'm going to have with me for a long time."

Even if Backlund didn't get to play, the finals were an experience to remember.

"I was in all the practices and trips during the finals. I did a little extra by myself between the games. I wasn't in the lineup for the games."

"You have to be there to understand it. It's amazing. 20 000 people in the crowd, all dressed in orange. It's like just one big party during the finals."

Backlund says it's easier to start his second season in North America.

"It feels like I have better circumstances now", Backlund compares his current situation to last summer. "Last season I had no idea what was waiting for me. Now you know how everything works and I can focus my energy on hockey. I'm better prepared and hopefully I can perform better now when I feel safer. I know I can end up in the AHL, but I've gone through everything about my decision and I see no problems with that."

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