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What Will David Backes Do After Being Waived By Bruins?

David Backes has a few options after clearing waivers. Will he accept assignment to the AHL, walk away or ask the Bruins for a trade?

The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa writes that David Backes will have a variety of options on his plate, even though it seems his future is destined. The Boston Bruins placed him on waivers for the purpose of assignment to the AHL Providence team. He recently cleared.

Bruins reporter Joe Haggerty said Backes will now take the bye week and the All-Star break to contemplate his future, then potentially report to Providence if he elects to accept assignment.

As former Bruins’ teammate Brad Marchand said, what’s happening to Backes is the crappy part about the business of hockey. Backes isn’t worth $6 million per season, but it’s really not his fault the Bruins offered to pay him that. There have been plenty of players in Backes shoes, many of whom got more money than they were worth, could have contributed to the NHL team if they were paid far less, but because of their salaries, the production compared to those salaries, and the team’s desire to make other moves, the player was sent packing. Andrew Ladd is currently going through something similar with the New York Islanders.

The logical decision would be for Backes to accept his assignment and make huge money in the AHL. That said, Backes might be proud, he might be ready to hang up the skates and he may want out of an organization that may no longer want him.

Related: Did Connor McDavid Get Shafted Versus Coyotes?

Is Retirement an Option for Backes?

Shinzawa reports that Backes seriously considered retirement after his concussion earlier this season. He was able to battle back and find a spot in the Bruins lineup. Now that he’s no longer got that spot, is it possible he rethinks retirement?

Shinzawa writes:

The Minnesota native, however, has a wife and two young children to support. He lives in Minnesota during the offseason and owns his in-season home in suburban Boston. It would be a lot of dough to leave on the table, especially considering his next profession is unlikely to be as lucrative.

Shinzawa is right. The $1 million signing bonus, the $3 million in salary he is owed in 2020-21, and the rest of the money due him this season is a lot to walk away from. Sure, he’s made plenty of money over the length of his NHL career, but perhaps he’s better served to go down, tell the Bruins he’d like to be moved if they can manage it and wait.

Backes could ask the Bruins to buy him out, but it’s unlikely that happens considering the Bruins don’t stand to save much money ($1 million) doing so. In fact, they’d end up with $4 million in dead money in 2020-21, and $1 million in 2021-22.

At this point, just the fact Backes was waived and sent to the minors is the embarrassing part for a proud NHL player. The only thing that could be worse would be if he didn’t think he had the skills to produce at the AHL level. If so, walking away might be a real option.

Related: Will Canadiens Trade or Re-Sign Ilya Kovalchuk?

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