After ‘Purgatory,’ David Backes Reflects on Bruins’ Exitby Filip Canda February 24, 2020 0 comments
It’s over. David Backes is no longer a member of the Boston Bruins organization. What looked so promising at the time the Bruins signed the former St. Louis Blues captain in 2016, seemed so woeful in the past few weeks.
Backes was always a pure class player and a person donning the black and gold. The 35-year-old forward was a perfect leader for the locker room, after facing so much adversity himself. Nevertheless, from the business side of the matter, Backes’ contract was a disaster for the Bruins.
Now, it’s all over, and the Bruins have shed 75 percent of his $6 million cap hit for the rest of this season, and the entire 2020-21 campaign. For Backes, the present NHL season has probably been the most challenging he has ever faced in his prolific NHL career.
After sending down Scott Sabourin in November, Backes was unable to play for almost a month before returning. He even contemplated retirement. Ultimately, he chose to return, and he even scored a huge game-winner for the Bruins in a rivalry game versus the Canadiens.
Unfortunately for each side, Backes didn’t go onto score 10 goals in his next 20 starts to make a fairytale-type of return. He didn’t fit into the Bruins lineup anymore. This all resulted in his time away from the team, being waived and sent down to Providence.
That´s all past for Backes. “Since my beginning of purgatory in the middle of January, there has been a lot of hours in the days of no commitment. It wasn’t certain it was over, but you get a pretty good idea when you’re sitting around and not participating that at least my time in this city was likely over,” said Backes to The Athletic.
Notwithstanding, Backes handled this situation as a motivation point. “I am grateful for the opportunity that they gave me. I think I had more personal growth in the last 3 1/2 years than I’ve ever had in a three-and-a-half-year span. Some of that has been challenges and hardships. A couple of injuries. Some adversity. Not playing. And how I was going to respond to the change. It was a character test.”
“Are you going to pout and sulk and be irate? Look for ‘woe is me.’ Or are you going to support your teammates, help them out in whatever way you can and be a good team guy?” reflected the 35-year-old veteran.
“I guess I’m proud of how I was able to handle situations. It certainly wasn’t always easy. But those are a little bit of my reflections. I got to play in a Stanley Cup Final for the first time with this organization. Those are incredible experiences,” continued Backes.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) February 23, 2020
As a member of the Anaheim Ducks, Backes cannot wait to come back on the ice and showcase his strengths for one more time at the NHL level. “I was praying, actually praying to get an opportunity to reassert myself and show I still belong in the NHL,” said Backes.
His time in Boston is officially over. The Bruins will still have a bit of a reminder of Backes on their salary cap until at least June 2021. It was a bittersweet experience for both sides. “I would have certainly loved to come out on the other side of it. That’s the way life goes.”