It seems veteran NHL ahead David Backes’ time with the Boston Bruins has lastly reached its conclusion — however he will not play with the staff’s AHL affiliate, both.
The Bruins positioned Backes, who performed in simply 16 video games this season, on waivers Jan. 17 with the intention of assigning him to the Windfall Bruins. Backes cleared waivers on Jan. 18; Boston will save simply over $1 million in wage cap house by burying his hefty contract within the minor leagues. Nonetheless, regardless of his demotion, the Bruins introduced following the All-Star break that although Backes is completely wholesome, he won’t play with the AHL membership at the moment.
“After talking with David, we have now agreed that it’s in the most effective curiosity of David and the Bruins for him to not play in Windfall at the moment,” Bruins basic supervisor Don Sweeney stated in an announcement. “David is match and capable of play, however with the intention to protect all potential choices for each David and the Bruins transferring ahead, we have now determined that is the most effective plan of action.”
When Boston despatched Backes down, head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t wish to speculate over Backes’ future. He did say that the choice to waive him was two-fold: competitors from youthful gamers on the staff’s roster necessitated a change and concern from staff administration over asking the veteran to proceed enjoying his rough-and-tumble type of hockey for worry of long-term well being issues.
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“I’ve a variety of respect for [Backes] as a human being and what he’s achieved on this league,” Cassidy advised reporters. “We introduced him in to provide us a few of that chew — that’s been a topic round right here for the previous couple of days, and that’s one thing we had hoped [for with Backes]. And it was there for some time however then some concussions got here into play and I feel that impacts your determination as a coach to place a participant on the ice.”
A Minneapolis native, Backes has struggled with accidents — particularly concussions — since he joined the Bruins as a free agent in July 2016. The veteran skater missed practically a month earlier this season after a scary collision with Ottawa Senators rookie Scott Sabourin that left each gamers injured.
🎥 Patrice Bergeron on David Backes: “The influence that he’s had ever since he bought right here, on and off the ice, his management that he introduced…he was a giant a part of the mentality that we’ve constructed right here. We want him all the most effective. We’re going to overlook him.” pic.twitter.com/E3UKJZgpez
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 17, 2020
Backes took his time to return to the staff after the incident as he assessed his long-term well being and solely got here again after he obtained affirmation from a number of neurologists that persevering with to play was not a right away hazard. Regardless of that, Cassidy cited concern about asking Backes to proceed to play a hard-hitting, bodily position that might embrace combating.
“As a coach, I advised this to the gamers: [Backes is] a man that you realize is a dad who has two younger women, you at all times wish to watch out that you simply’re pushing guys to play a sure manner,” Cassidy advised reporters. “Now you’ve bought a man that, who is aware of, may be one hit away from having some harm. So that you’ve bought to watch out with that — I do know it’s a enterprise, however that’s the human aspect of it. Once you’re across the gamers lengthy sufficient — that was was a little bit of a difficulty for me to attempt to push him in that route.”
Transferring ahead, the Bruins and Backes have a couple of totally different choices in the case of his future. Shopping for out the ultimate yr of his contract would value Boston basic supervisor Don Sweeney $four million in 2020-21 and $1 million in 2021-22 and permit him to freely search employment elsewhere within the league after this season.
Equally, the Bruins might search to commerce Backes and retain as much as $three million of his $6 million wage cap — although there is no such thing as a assure any staff is considering buying him as of now. Ought to the veteran ahead merely resolve to retire, the Bruins will now not be on the hook for his cap house.
Backes, who performed for the St. Louis Blues for 10 years earlier than signing with Boston, has one objective and two assists in his 16 video games performed in 2019-20.