After being waived by the Boston Bruins, veteran forward David Backes has decided that his playing future does not include the Providence Bruins of the AHL.
Backes went unclaimed on waivers meaning he’d be set for assignment to the Bruins AHL affiliate. But, with the All-Star Break and a bye week, the Bruins and Backes had some time to figure out what the next steps would be for the aging forward who’s time in the NHL might be coming to a close. Thinking he might not want to leave money on the table, but potentially feeling like the AHL is not where he wanted to close things out with the Bruins, it was unclear as to whether or not Backes would accept assignment.
Backes no longer needs to worry because, for now, he will continue to earn the full value of his one-way deal.
Boston GM Don Sweeney released a short statement on Thursday:
After speaking with David, we have agreed that it is in the best interest of David and the Bruins for him not to play in Providence at this time. David is fit and able to play, but in order to preserve all potential options for both David and the Bruins moving forward, we have decided this is the best course of action.
What’s Next for Backes?
Because both sides agreed not to have him report the Providence, Backes is not in violation of his contract and is not under suspension. Still, if the Bruins can manage a trade, they’ll definitely try to.
The problem is Backes’ salary. At a whopping $6 million per season, the Bruins are only able to shed themselves of just over $1 million by burying his deal. It’s not terribly helpful in terms of being able to go out and secure a top-six winger at the deadline. Maybe a team like the Anaheim Ducks, who’ve said they’re willing to take on salary might be a team to watch here.
Otherwise, the Bruins has given no definitive indication as to what they plan to do with Backes, who has one year remaining on a five-year deal signed in 2016.
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