Mikael Backlund named finalist for King Clancy Award
Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund was named a finalist for the King Clancy Award by the NHL Wednesday.
Darnell Nurse of the Edmonton Oilers and Anders Lee of the New York Islanders are the other finalists for the award, given "“to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community,” the NHL said in a release.
Backlund supports the ALS Society of Alberta in honour of his late mother-in-law, who died from the disease when his wife Frida was 19 years old.
Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow has also been battling ALS for the past four years. Backlund and Frida have raised over $400,000 and welcomed close to 100 families impacted by ALS to Flames home games.
He's also an ambassador for Kids Cancer Care and Special Olympics Calgary – he has a childhood friend who was diagnosed with cancer and another born with Down syndrome – and has invited 500 people to Flames games.
Most recently, Backlund and his wife partnered to create Lily's Legacy, which allows kids in foster care to keep their pets while they are transitioning into care. It's named after the Backlunds' dog, who passed away in 2021.
“I’ve always been inspired by people who help others that struggle,” Backlund said, in a release. “I am aware that I have been given the opportunity to live a privileged life and know that a small gesture from me can mean the world to other people.”
Nurse is active in a number of community initiatives that focus on diversity and inclusion through the power of sports.
Lee is an active fundraiser for a foundation that helps individuals and families battling cancer.
The winner will be announced at the 2023 NHL Awards in Nashville on Monday, June 26.
They will receive a $25,000 donation to benefit a charity or charities of their choice.