According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Boston Bruins have signed forward David Backes to a 5 year contract with an average annual salary of $6 million.
Originally, the signing was said before the term was announced. A good signing for the Bruins if the deal was 2 or 3 years. Instead, the 32-year-old agreed to a 5-year deal. With the loss of Loui Eriksson and the center core of Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Ryan Spooner, the Bruins don’t really need another centerman. It will be interesting to see if Backes will play the center or the wing.
The TSN crew mentioned that Backes will bring in a good locker room presence with the loss of Lucic, Campbell, and Shawn Thornton over the past few years. They also mentioned that this signing will take some pressure off Bergeron and Krejci throughout the season. It also means that Ryan Spooner can be a winger or a center and he doesn’t have to play as much of a defensive game. We could see an offensive emergence of Ryan Spooner come next season.
Last season, Backes put up 21-24-45 totals in 79 games with the St. Louis Blues. In the playoffs, David helped the Blues with 14 points in the 20 games. This acquisition gives Boston three Davids. David Pastrnak, David Krejci, and now David Backes.
The B’s also resigned D John-Michael Liles to a one-year contract worth $2 million. Liles was traded from the Carolina Hurricanes at trade deadline last season in exchange for Anthony Camara, a 2016 3rd, and a 2017 5th. With the black and gold, the 35-year-old played in 17 games and helped out with 6 assists. The other trade deadline acquisition, Lee Stempniak has yet to be resigned to Boston.
The Boston Bruins have also brought back goaltender Anton Khudobin to a 2-year deal. After losing backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson in free agency, the Bruins needed a new backup for Tuukka Rask. The contract ends up totaling $2.4 million overall. He last wore the Boston sweater in the 2012-13 season. He appeared in 14 games in that season and went 9-4-1 with a GAA of 2.32 and a SV% of a .920%. Last season, Khudobin played in 9 games with the Anaheim Ducks, going 3-3-0 with a GAA of 2.69 and a SV% of .909%. The rest of the season was in the AHL with the San Diego Gulls.
All of these signings happening in just short of an hour. Still more assets available, lots of time left.