BOSTON (CBS) — David Backes will not be playing for the Boston Bruins anytime soon. He also won’t be playing for the Providence Bruins anytime soon.
The Bruins put the veteran forward on waivers two weeks ago, with the intent of sending him down to Providence when he cleared. No other team claimed the 35-year-old, but as Boston GM Don Sweeney explained on Thursday, Backes will not be going to Providence as the team decides “the best course of action” going forward.
“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,” Sweeney said in a statement.
In all likelihood, that means the Bruins are exploring trade possibilities and letting Backes sit at home until they find a suitor. He’s healthy at the moment, and the team doesn’t want to risk him getting hurt in the AHL as they look for a deal.
There is a chance the Bruins could negotiate a buyout with Backes, but either way, it sounds like the veteran has played his last game for the Bruins organization.
Backes still has one year left on the five-year, $30 million pact he signed with the Bruins in July 2016, which carries a $3 million base salary (and $6 million cap hit) for the 2020-21 season. He has just one goal and two assists in his 16 games for Boston this season, and just 39 goals and 55 helpers in his 217 games in a Bruins uniform. The veteran suited up for 70 games last regular season, but he was in and out of the lineup throughout Boston’s run to the Stanley Cup Final. He played in just four of Boston’s seven games against the Blues in the Cup Final, averaging less than 10 minutes of ice time.