The Boston Bruins have made a big free agent splash signing forward David Backes to a five-year deal worth $30 million.
David Backes gets a five-year deal from #bruins.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2016
Backes went to free agency following news that he would not be re-signed by the St. Louis Blues where he’s spent his entire career up to this point. He served as the Blues captain since 2011 after St. Louis took the 32-year-old in the second round, 62nd overall in the 2003 NHL Draft.
In 727 career regular season games, Backes has 460 points (206g-254a) for the Blues. He also brings 49 games of playoff experience to the Bruins who’re starting to move towards a younger less experienced lineup.
In those 49 games, he’s recorded 27 points (12g-15a) but is a force to be reckoned with. His physical play is a staple of his game and he’s able to play top line minutes while being a distraction for opposing team’s top players.
Backes gives the Bruins the strong physical forward that they’ve been lacking since the departure of Milan Lucic last season – without taking away anything from the peskiness of Brad Marchand. His board play and willingness to go into the dirty areas of the ice will open up the game for anybody who has the opportunity to play on his line – be it Marchand, Patrice Bergeron or the young David Pastrnak.
Backes is a former NHL all-star and adds a 2010 Olympic Silver medal to the Bruins lineup. On top of that, he finished as the runner-up to new teammate – Bergeron – for the Frank J. Selke trophy.
The new deal will come in with a cap hit of $6 million per year for Backes and the Bruins.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.