David Backes was understandably preoccupied with getting his NHL career back on track when he first spoke with reporters in Anaheim following his trade to the Ducks a week ago. So it was all good that the 35-year-old power forward wasn’t in a particularly reflective mood when discussing his new situation with the Ducks and his thoughts on how things ended in Black and Gold.
Perhaps sensing that himself, Backes sent out a tweet on Sunday from his personal account thanking the Bruins “for the opportunity to play on an amazing team filled with incredible men” as he focuses on his new team in the Pacific Division.
Here’s the full tweet from Backes:
The Backes Family thanks the @NHLBruins for the opportunity to play on an amazing team filled with incredible men. We are nothing but grateful for our time in Boston. The people we met, our daughter starting school and our son being born in Boston will forever be with us.— David Backes (@dbackes42) March 1, 2020
The tweet exhibits exactly the kind of class and professional leadership that Backes brought with him to Boston, even if the performance on the ice didn’t match expectations when he arrived from St. Louis.
Backes was dealt a few days ahead of the trade deadline to the Ducks along with a first-round pick and defenseman prospect Axel Andersson in exchange for right winger Ondrej Kase. As part of the deal, the Bruins put themselves on the hook for 25 percent of Backes’ remaining salary, a sign that a big part of the overall trade was the B’s getting out from under the $6 million cap hit for an underperforming Backes for this season and next.
Backes signed a five-year, $30 million contract in the summer of 2016 after leaving the St. Louis Blues in free agency, but never managed more than 17 goals or 38 points while his production decreased with each passing season. One of the final nails in Backes’ coffin with the Bruins was serving as a healthy scratch in the final three games of the Stanley Cup Final last June against his old Blues hockey club.
He was finally waived in early January by the Bruins after just one goal and three points this season, and never reported to the AHL after playing his final game for the Black and Gold on Jan. 9.
The big winger has yet to play a game for the Ducks since arriving in the trade while Kase just made his B’s debut on Thursday night. Kase showed speed and an ability to create his own offense as a second line right wing in his first game as a Bruin.