10/04/2011 02:52 EDT | Updated 12/04/2011 05:12 EST

Calgary Flames will start season without Swedish centre Mikael Backlund

BANFF, Alta. - Calgary Flames centre Mikael Backlund will miss up to six weeks of the NHL season with a finger injury.

The Flames confirmed reports Tuesday the 22-year-old forward required surgery on his finger and will sit out the opening weeks of the season.

Calgary's season-opener is Saturday at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Backlund was pegged as a possible first-line centre between captain Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay.

The Swede was Calgary's first-round pick, 24th overall, in the 2007 NHL entry draft. He had 10 goals and 15 assists in 73 games in 2010-11, which was his first full season in the NHL.

The Flames were skating in Banff, Alta., on Tuesday.