The Boston Bruins sent down David Backes on Friday and it looks like his NHL career is over.
Backes is 35 years old. He is a remnant of the NHL’s past. Standing at 6’3″ Backes reminds you of the old notion that short players couldn’t perform well in the league.
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But the NHL has changed. Speed and skill are what dominate the game and an aging Backes was unable to keep up.
At the end of the day, this is the right decision. Backes was taking up a valuable roster spot.
But still I feel bad for Backes. It’s tough to see an aging player not realize that the game has passed him by.
If Backes isn’t picked up by another team I think it will be the end of his career. He may spend the season in Providence but I can’t imagine him willingly returning to the AHL club next season.
Backes will go down as a great player who had some stellar years with the St.Louis Blues early in his career. I don’t know if he will get in on the first ballot, but I imagine he winds up in the Hockey Hall of Fame at some point.
You have to be concerned about Backes’ health as well. He has suffered multiple concussions just in Boston. Bruce Cassidy even mentioned Backes’ history with them when asked about the move to send him down.