When the Boston Bruins put David Backes on waivers, it set Bruins fans into a little bit of shock. With what very well could be the last time we see him in a Bruins uniform, I want to take a look back at his career here in Boston. And at the man that is David Backes.
When the Bruins signed him in the summer of 20116-17 to a 5-year $30 million contract that included a $13 million signing bonus, the vast majority of the people were shocked at the price tag. We thought coming to the Bruins was a hard-nosed player from his time as a captain with the Blues who fit the mold as a Bruin. The first season started out reasonably decent for him, with 17 goals along with 21 helpers. His stay here in Boston has been overshadowed by injuries and a colon surgery that limited his time on the ice for the Bruins.
The player who is universally respected found himself in a new role along the way as his on-ice skills diminished over the years. What he brought to this team can’t be taken away as he had fit right into the leadership role as a former captain himself. When you ask the Bruins players what they think of Backes, you hear nothing but positives coming from them as a player. But you also hear the positives from them regarding Backes, the person.
There is always that chance he gets back on the ice again in the NHL, but I firmly believe his time in Boston is up. What I would like David to do is do what is best for himself and his family. There is absolutely nothing he owes us fans, contrary too what you will likely hear on social media. The man always gave it his all, whether it was for the Bruins, his high school team, or donning his countries colors at the Winter Olympics. What David Backes represents on and off the ice can be found in both small town USA and the bright lights of your cities. He always brought his lunch pail with him when he was out there playing for us fans.
What should be the biggest concern is his overall health, with him having multiple concussions. The brain can only take so much punishment before bad things happen. You hear the stories of former players and non-athletes who are never quite the same after sustaining them. What we need is more studies because keeping the player safe is paramount.
What happens next is gonna be interesting from the Bruins. The team will save around $1 million in cap space. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but keep that in mind because we’re at a point in the season where you don’t get the brunt of a full contract coming in. Will the Bruins make a move? Who knows if they’ll bring in a player via trade or if someone is on their way up to the big club. We have seen some names thrown out, namely Chris Kreider and Tyler Toffoli. But honestly, I can’t sit here and give an absolute lock at this point.
The Bruins will figure out what the next step from here on out will be. We saw Brett Ritchie sent to waivers this week. The Bruins are certainly making moves here, but the Backes one feels like an end-of-the-road type move instead of a get-your-game-together move. What he decides to do is the more critical part of this situation to me.
What I finally wanna touch on is what he does outside of the hockey rink. With his wife Kelly, the two volunteer for Athletes For Animals. The charity does a beautiful job in communities with rescuing and protecting homeless pets. I strongly urge you to look into that and see what the team is doing for the animals. This is just another selfless act from a genuinely good person. What you have done in your hockey career, David hasn’t gone unnoticed from this fan. And if this is the end for you, hold your head up high as you play this game the right way.