Ladislav Smid will not play this season for the Calgary Flames. The 30-year-old defenseman is still dealing with a neck issue, and he doesn’t want to jeopardize his life after hockey. Smid is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He only played 22 games for the Flames last season, and just 31 the season prior. The Flames are reportedly bringing veteran defenseman Nicklas Grossman to camp on a tryout. If necessary, they could also consider bringing Kris Russell back, or explore signing another free agent like Dennis Seidenberg.
Mikael Backlund is going to miss the remainder of the World Cup for Team Sweden after he was on the receiving end of a massive hit from Finland’s Sami Lepisto in a first round game on Tuesday. On Friday, Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving said (via Dan Rosen of NHL.com) that Backlund has a concussion as a result of the hit and is currently listed as being “day-to-day.” The 27-year-old Backlund is coming off of a career year for the Flames that saw him record new career highs in goals (21), assists (26) and points (47) in 82 games. Backlund appeared in two World Cup games for Sweden and did not record a point. He did not play in Sweden’s thrilling 4-3 overtime loss to Team North America
In shooting down reports of a contract ultimatum last week, Alex Steen said “I want to be in St. Louis, and the organization knows that.” Turns out the organization wanted him, too. On Friday, the Blues announced they’ve signed Steen to a four-year, $23 million extension — one that carries a $5.75 million average annual value. “We are extremely excited to have Alexander signed for the next four seasons,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said in a release. “He has developed into one of the league’s premier 200-foot players and is a key member of our leadership group. “He has shown tremendous loyalty to the Blues organization, its fans and the St. Louis community.” While the AAV is lower than his previous