When I heard that the Boston Bruins signed David Backes to a 5 year deal on July 1 2016 I was jumping for joy! The Big Boy Backes was just the power forward we have been looking for since the departure of Lucic. That one still bugs me! Standing 6′ 3″ and tipping the scales at 225 pounds, David Backes would be the prototypical Bruin.
The St Louis Blues drafted David Backes 62nd overall in the 2003 NHL entry draft. He went back to play for Minnesota State for three seasons where he put up some decent numbers. He amassed 119 PTS and 212 PIMS in only 115 games! Not too shabby, eh? He had a brief stint in the AHL with the Peoria Rivermen before joining the St Louis Blues for the 2006-2007 season. His best production season with the Blues was the 2010-2011 season where he netted 62 points in 82 games. On Sept 09 2011 he was named the 20th captain of the Blues, taking the reigns from Eric Brewer who was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. While he may not be an offensive juggernaut, he is a mean two-way power forward who can score when called upon.
Off the ice Backes is a big gentle bear. David and his wife Kelly are quite involved in animal rescue efforts and pet adoption drives. He has a huge passion for animals which goes all the way back to his childhood where always had pets around. David received his private pilots license in 2012. He is also a graduate of Minnesota State University.
David made his international debut in 2007 where he was named to the US national team for the IIHF World Championships. He was named to the team for next two years and played in the bronze medal game in 2009, losing to Sweden 4-2. The national team came calling again but this time on the Olympic platform. With a goal and 2 assists he helped the team get to the gold medal game, falling to team Canada 3-2 in OT. Again in 2014 he suited up for team USA in the Olympics. This time there would be no medals, but he did help out with 4 PTS in 6 games.
Now with the Bruins he his quickly making a name for himself. Last season with the B’s he had 38 PTS and 69 PIMS in 74 games. Now this season is a bit of a different story. He went under the knife in November to remove a portion of his colon due to diverticulitis. Much to the joy of his teammates Backes has made a full recovery! So far this season he has 15 points in 20 games. David Backes was just named the NHL’s 3rd star this week with 6 points in 3 games all while playing on the 3rd line! With his help the Bruins have been steam rolling along. They are currently sitting 2nd in the division with a 7-1-2 record over the last 10 games. Yee Haw!
This is exactly what a young Bruins team needs right now. The former captain who, while still in his prime, is showing tons of leadership on a very young and talented team. They are playing with a ton of confidence and looking to make some noise in the playoffs. The problem I see moving forward is how to make room for everyone in the line-up once all the injuries have healed. The young call-ups are starting to look like seasoned veterans which is definitely not a bad thing.
The Bottom Line
Was signing Big Boy Backes to 5 years for 30 mil a good move for the Bruins? ABSOLUTELY!!! He is fearless power forward with some all-star skill. He is giving coach Cassidy some needed options on the 3rd line. Playing alongside Riley Nash and Danton Heinen, they are giving the top 2 lines much-needed rest and security. It nice to know that you can send out the 3rd line and not have to worry about defensive breakdowns. With this line it is the complete opposite. They look like a top line every time they step on the ice! Let’s hope 2018 will continue to be kind to this Bruins team as they make a mad dash for the finish line.
Until next time….
Keep Your Head Up