David Backes and a pig. (photo credit)
The Boston Bruins were pretty active this free agency period.
Don Sweeney didn’t get any defense (which we really needed) but was able to get some forwards to add on to our already exciting lineup for the next season.
One of our main additions to the B’s was former Blues captain David Backes, a right winger and 2012 Selke trophy finalist.
That’s right, he was nominated for the same trophy that Bergy, his new teammate, WON.
With that addition, we lost Loui Eriksson and Chris Kelly (who I kinda forgot about), so we also have that little hole to fill when it comes to the forward core.
Is David Backes gonna really fill that hole?
Last season for Saint Louis, Backes played 79 games, scoring 21 goals and 24 assists while doing so. Loui Eriksson played 82 games (the only Bruin to do so) and had 30 goals and 33 assists.
So, no, Backes doesn’t fully fill that hole point wise. But, he seems to fill up the hole in everything else. Here’s why:
The two-way style of play.
Not only does David Backes have that Selke nomination, but he shows two-way play, which is something the Bruins should welcome. The defense core isn’t gonna get better (I think), so having this should help. I love Eriksson (even though he is now a Canuck, ew) but he wasn’t really that defensive offenseman that we kinda needed. Marchand is starting to prove his worth as a high-scoring forward. With Backes, we have a forward with a career plus-minus of +65. That, I really like seeing.
The physical image.
Back in the day, the “Big Bad Bruins” were not a team to be messed with. That image has kinda gone away with time, but it is slowly making a comeback. Eriksson was a player that didn’t play physically. He hasn’t been in any major fights or penalties and was even nominated for the Lady Byng trophy, which is the trophy for the player with essentially the least penalties in a given season. Eriksson is always at the low end of the spectrum for penalty minutes. The Bruins got rid of the passive Eriksson, for the physical and in your face Backes. The B’s are trying to get more and more physical, ever since the addition of Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes in 2015. This signing allows us to get closer to that goal. Backes is more of a Bruins type player than Eriksson and gives fans the physicality and intensiveness that they want to see.
Not just a center.
While the center is the natural position for David Backes, he also has experience playing on the right wing. With the Bruins stacked on center with Krejci, Bergeron, and now, Backes, it is good to look at all the options. There have been multiple ideas to how we can utilize Backes. There was the Krejci for Shattenkirk rumors, to open up a top 6 centerman spot. There is also the talk of putting him on the right wing, and slotting him with Bergeron and Marchand. Hearing all of these options is a good thing. Backes has even said that “If you want to call me third line, I completely respect that,” , which shows that trading Krejci doesn’t have to happen to make Backes actually work with the lineup.
I’m not gonna lie, I was surprised when I heard about this trade. Even though the length and salary isn’t something to boast about, Backes is a player that could reasonably fit into the B’s system.
For those who don’t know Backes’ contract is a five-year, $30 million. He is 32 years old and the contract is set to expire when he is 37 (which isn’t that bad).
What is really funny is seeing all the people who got upset about how the B’s should have signed Eriksson because “he is younger”.
The contract Eriksson got was a 6 year, $36 million one. He is 31.
So, Vancouver has Eriksson for a longer term than we have Backes. Eriksson one more year, but he is also one year younger than Backes.
So, it looks like both Vancouver and Boston are stuck with 37-year-olds. Eriksson’s contract is kinda the same as Backes, just one extra year (which will probably bite VAN in the butt).
I’m also not gonna lie when I say that I like this contract.
Does anyone know if the “Roar Bacon” pig was included in the contract?
I’m asking for a friend
see you in October!