By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
Since being waived last month, David Backes hasn't seen the ice in Boston or Providence as the Bruins try to figure out the next step for the 35-year-old forward who is due $6 million a year over the next two years. Based on a pair of reports on Tuesday, answering that question may not be Boston's problem for much longer.
According to Andy Strickland of 590 The Fan in St. Louis, the Bruins may be able to unload Backes (and his contract) at the upcoming NHL trade deadline.
Told that there are teams who have expressed some level of interest in #Bruins forward David Backes. Many are on his no-trade list. He's submitted a list of 8 teams he will accept a trade to. Increases to 15 this summer.
NHL Network analyst Brian Lawton followed that report up later in the day, indicating that the Bruins may be able to significantly bolster their roster for a playoff run in return.
I am expecting #Backes to move & a top 6 forward coming back prior to #tradedeadline. Temperature just went up for @NHLBruins @Capitals @TBLightning with @penguins acquisition. #shotacrossthebow @NHLNetwork https://t.co/5mKEnbmWOy
While those reports look promising, a Backes trade has some tricky roadblocks to navigate. First, there's the no-movement clause mentioned by Strickland. Once he and the Bruins agree on a landing spot, Boston would likely have to agree to pay up to half of his $6 million salary in order to ensure a quality return. The Bruins then may have to include a player off the main roster, in addition to picks and/or prospects, to make the deal happen. The Pittsburgh Penguins pulled off a similar deal earlier this week, acquiring Jason Zucker from the Minnesota Wild.
With a number of options out there for the Bruins to target, it's not unrealistic to believe the right deal could exist. It's going to come down to Don Sweeney hammering out the details to avoid giving up too much in order to unload an expensive contract. After all, hasn't Boston seen enough of that recently?
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].