Boston Bruins: What’s next for David Backes and the Bruins?

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 17: David Backes #42 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Los Angeles Kings at the TD Garden on December 17, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 17: David Backes #42 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Los Angeles Kings at the TD Garden on December 17, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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David Backes Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – JUNE 6: David Backes #42 of the Boston Bruins arrives prior to the start of the game against the St Louis Blues during Game Five of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the TD Garden on June 6, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Traded away from Boston

This one seems likeliest, at least by wording of Don Sweeney’s statement on Backes’ status with the team. In that statement, he mentioned that he wasn’t reporting to Providence, suggesting it was best to maintain his current healthy state.

Reading between the lines, you take that as; David Backes won’t be reporting to the American Hockey League because the Boston Bruins and player fear he’ll end up injured, which in turn makes him a useless asset when it comes to trade talks.

The biggest difficulty with trading Backes away is finding a suitor that is willing to wear his $6 million cap hit next year as well as the remainder of this one.

Per CapFriendly, only the Colorado Avalanche, New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets currently have enough projected cap space to wear the full amount of his cap hit.

The Colorado Avalanche are realistic contenders this season in the Western Conference, thus I doubt Joe Sakic can be convinced that bringing David Backes in would be a good idea.

Likewise, Columbus hedged their bets with their trades last year and would no doubt be asking for a lot, either in terms of prospects or recouping some of the lost draft picks from their all-in approach last summer.

The Devils, well, they’re a bit of a mess and have plenty of younger guys in the room that no doubt could learn a bit from David Backes, but whether they’d truly go for it, I don’t know.

The Toronto Maple Leafs set the market at a first-round pick when they traded Patrick Marleau in the summer and that was on a deal that expired this year. You’d have to expect that may be seen as the cost to get rid of Backes for the Boston Bruins.

On the plus side, if the Boston Bruins were to retain 50% of Backes’ salary, suddenly he fits under 10 teams’ projected cap space and the market is a little bigger. Let’s not forget though that Backes has to agree to be traded as he holds a modified no-trade clause and can opt out of being dealt somewhere he doesn’t want to go.

Next. John Moore has to be traded. dark

It’s going to be interesting to watch this next month and see if the Bruins do manage to swing something that works for both them and David Backes!