Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: david backes
from Travis Yost of TSN,
The cynic in me can’t help but look beyond this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs and toward free agency, where Backes, 32, will join a slew of other unrestricted free agents looking for the next payday. If you believe that recent postseason performance tends to correlate strongly with premiums paid in the subsequent free agency year (how could you not?), you have to wonder how much Backes is going to cost. You also have to wonder if the Blues could find themselves in the position of questioning whether or not it makes sense to retain their leader.
St. Louis has done a pretty nice job of managing the cap, and should have a fair bit of breathing room to acquire talent in the coming off-seasons. The $58 million already committed to next year’s team is a bit misleading when you consider that they have decisions to make on Jaden Schwartz, Troy Brouwer, Steve Ott, Kyle Brodziak,Magnus Paajarvi, and Scottie Upshall this summer, and Kevin Shattenkirk, Colton Parayko, Patrik Berglund, and Alex Steen a year from now. Not all of these players will be retained, but the overarching point is that the money available today is likely overstating what type of money will be available to retain an unrestricted free agent like Backes.
The curious part about the Backes situation from the St. Louis perspective is that his strong playoff run has masked what has been a bit of a decline in performance over the last couple of seasons. No doubt St. Louis loves his game and what he brings to the table today, but will they love what he brings a few years from now? And how much do you weigh that against St. Louis’ Stanley Cup window, which is indisputably closing?
from Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Some perspective: This postseason Backes has scored two more playoff goals than in his previous 29 playoff games combined. His career was without a playoff power play goal and a playoff game-winner headed into Round 1 against the Blackhawks. Oh, and Backes' six assists this postseason are just two shy of his previous playoff totals combined....
The contract that pays him $4.5 million per year is near its end. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. In late January, Post-Dispatch Blues beat writer Jeremy Rutherford reported negotiations between the Blues and Backes had been infrequent since Backes declined an extension offer of three years at approximately $5.5 million per season.
Things have changed since then. Backes' postseason play has increased his value. The Blues should be more interested in keeping him around. And Backes could find it harder to leave after this run — although receiving more money to go elsewhere tends to make that decision simple. There will be suitors if the Blues don't lock him in.
"He's got a lot of miles on his body, just from the way he's played, but he can obviously still play at a very high level," former Blues captain Dallas Drake recently said of the current captain. "He's proven that in the playoffs. You've gotta be careful writing guys off too early. There are a lot of teams that would love to have him on their roster. I'm sure whatever happens next year, whether it's St. Louis or somewhere else, he'll have plenty of candidates knocking on his door."
Backes is basically a microcosm of the Blues, a regular-season stalwart who finally scaled the playoff wall. Backes and his Blues did it together. A separation after this just wouldn't feel right.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that forward David Backes and goaltender Jake Allen will miss the remainder of the regular season with lower-body injuries.
Both will be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the regular season.
Backes, 31, has dressed in all 79 games this season, ranking second on the club with 21 goals and fourth with 45 points overall. The Minneapolis, Minnesota native is currently in his 10th NHL season after being drafted by the Blues in the second round (62nd overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Backes has tallied 460 points (206 goals, 254 assists) and 969 penalty minutes in 727 career regular season games.
Allen, 25, has appeared in 47 games this season, posting a 26-15-3 record. In addition, he shares 10th overall with a .920 save percentage and second with six shutouts. The Fredriction, New Brunswick, native is currently in his third NHL season after being drafted by the Blues in the second round (34th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. In 99 career regular season games, Allen has accumulated a 57-26-7 record, a 2.34 goals against average, a .915 save percentage and 11 shutouts.
According to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, NHL GM's are entering the period in which they must decide whether they're going to buy to "contend" or sell at the trade deadline, which hits on February 29th this year. That's not an easy decision to make given how tight the standings have been and will continue to remain going forward.
The focal points of trade deadline interest remain the following non-Steven Stamkos players:
Winnipeg Jets: All eyes are on captain Andrew Ladd and blueliner Dustin Byfuglien. “I don’t believe they’ll both be there after the deadline,” a league executive said Friday. The talk is the Jets tabled a six-year, $6 million deal to Ladd before the season, and that somehow the deal will get done.
Nobody is quite as optimistic about Byfuglien. He has emerged as one of the best players in the league, is a difference maker, and will cash in on the UFA market in the summer. “He’s just a hell of player,” said the executive.
St. Louis Blues: We’re not talking about a franchise with an ownership group that has deep pockets. GM Doug Armstrong has apparently put talks with centre David Backes on hold and with a $4.5 million cap hit he’s going to want a big raise if he’s going to stay with the Blues.
He could fetch a lot in return but the Blues are a contender in the West and they should be looking to add, not subtract. Teams will call but Armstrong has to tread carefully here.
New York Islanders: The sense is there won’t be any deal involving defenceman Travis Hamonic, who asked for a trade a personal reasons, until the NHL entry draft in June. A league executive said: “Garth Snow isn’t going to make this deal unless he gets good value in return.”
Teams have been calling the Isles about UFA winger Kyle Okposo, and why not? You never know where Snow is concerned, but the 27-year-old has a $2.7 million cap hit. The thinking amongst teams is he won’t be going anywhere because the Islanders are in the race and want to stay there.
Garrioch continues, addressing the Canucks, Lightning and Canadiens' situations.
from Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press,
He's one of the nicest guys you'll ever come across -- smiling, polite and with choir-boy good looks. He's also a very talented and hard-working hockey player out of Spring Lake Park High School and Minnesota State Mankato.
Yup, he's a local boy and a proud former Olympian. Oh, and one other thing about him: Minnesota hockey fans hate his guts. Just the sight of him gets their blood-pressure rising and their pulses racing to dangerously high levels.
He's David Backes, captain of the St. Louis Blues. And he is Public Enemy No. 1 during this first-round series.
"I take that as a vote of confidence that I'm doing my job," Backes said. "That's part of the business, and I'm hopefully going to be Public Enemy No. 1 this summer. That's my goal."
Backes was thankful that the NHL's Player Safety Department saw the hit on the Capitals' Karl Alzner the way hit did, deciding not to issue supplemental discipline.
"Yeah, it's nine years now and I've had one major penalty that was quickly rescinded right after that," Backes recalled. "Now this one, where I think it's pretty benign — he hops back up and doesn't miss a shift.
"Never looking to hurt anyone out there. The rules are the rules, I guess, and if there's blood, (then the ejection was warranted).
via Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where you can read more on the Blues...
If you missed the hit, watch it below...
added 2:52pm, video of the hit below...
from Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
“I don’t know if anyone saw his ear there, but he lost a piece of it and they sewed it back,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “Say what you what you want about hockey players, but they’re tough SOBs.”
Klein said he got “about 13-14 stitches, we didn’t have time to count.”
more on Klein and the Rangers OT win of the Penguins..
from Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
via NHL YouTube channel,
St. Louis Blues captain David Backes and wife Kelly visit Nairobi, Kenya with the Starkey Hearing Foundation for a life-changing experience.
“It kind of gave me a sick feeling in my stomach to think that it’s my hometown. I’ve been here for nine years. It’s not just the local news. It’s national news, it’s probably international news. To know what a great place St.Louis is, and to raise a family here and to now have these scars and stereotypes, or whatever it may be, about it being a city of unrest and not safe. We’ve got a lot of healing to do, locally in Ferguson, with all the relationships, and patching them back together to (enhance) our reputation of what a great city this can be, and is, at its heart.”
-David Backes of the St. Louis Blues on the ongoing situation in Feguson, MO. More on this topic from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen.
Ken Hitchcock only said Backes would be re-evaluated today.
The acual hit did not look bad but notice Backes's head did hit the ice.
Brent Seabrook received 5 for charging and a game, David Backes went to the dressing room.
The Blues scored on the pp late in the 3rd and the game is now headed to OT.
added 7:11pm, below, watch the CBC version of the hit...
Patrick Roy was not happy after his Colorado Avalanche defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-0 on Saturday--during what was part of a much larger and nastier set of scraps between the two teams (as Puck Daddy's Jen Neale notes)...
Here's the hit in question--and, uh, Roy...Has a point?
Others say it was not a butt end which was in his glove.
Me, I can't tell, how about you?
No penalty on the play...
Backes received two for kneeing for this hit on Matt Stajan. Should it have been more?
The Flames have yet to update toe condition of Stajan.
Via NHL.com's Sean Farrell, Darren Pang isn't kidding when he says, "That's not good." St. Louis Blues captain David Backes took a high but very legal hit and left St. Louis' 3-2 OT loss to Ottawa with, well, this:
St. Louis Blues captain David Backes left the game against the Ottawa Senators on Monday during the second period with an upper-body injury.
Backes skated slowly off the ice and went to the dressing room with 2:49 left in the second after he collided with Ottawa's Colin Greening on an open-ice hit. He will not return, the Blues said.
Backes had seven hits and won 71 percent of faceoffs in 11:20 in ice time before he left the game. He has 16 goals and 14 assists this season, second on the team behind linemate Alexander Steen (35) in points.
After the game, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock had this to say to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jeremy Rutherford:
The Wall Street Journal's Brian Costa spoke with Nashville Predators GM and Team USA GM David Poile and several of his likely Olympic team players about the differences between the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and those to be held in Sochi in February. He brings up one point we've already heard being discussed--the soccer-like style and pace of play that European teams tend to play on 200-foot-long by 100-foot-wide rinks (as opposed to North American rinks, which are 85 feet wide)...
The difference between Vancouver, where the U.S. won silver in 2010, and Sochi isn't so much about geography as it is space. In the U.S. and Canada, the standard rink size is 85 feet wide. In Europe, rinks are 100 feet wide. A smaller playing surface lends itself to the more aggressive, bruising style of play that dominates the NHL. On the larger European surface, it's more a game of speed and finesse.
"The difference is a lot bigger than fans think," said Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman and Team USA hopeful Paul Martin. "You have more room to cover, especially around the nets."
And he duly notes the reason why Team Canada's World Junior team now brings its own chefs to overseas tournaments, and the vast majority of players will have difficulty finding palatable food, "comfort zones" in terms of their accommodations and might deal with a bit of culture shock in Sochi, where we've been told that "there's nothing to do" at the Olympic facilities in terms of filling free time because they're still being constructed:
St. Louis Blues captain David Backes and his wife Kelly have announced their new public foundation Athletes for Animals.
Athletes for Animals is designed to bring professional athletes together in support of companion animals across the country. The Backes’ were inspired by nearly a decade of animal welfare and rescue efforts and decided that it was time to make a larger impact on the lives of homeless companion animals nationwide.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
What is the difference in mindset and pressure when you expect to make the playoffs, like the Blues do now, as opposed to the time when you were just hoping to get there?
"I think when you're hoping to make the playoffs, you think it's OK to fail and you think about, 'Oh, we lost tonight, but we were slotted to not make the playoffs anyway.' There is always a desire to win, but when it doesn't happen you say, 'If this was different,' or, 'If we had a better team.' There are excuses when you're not expecting it.
"When you're expecting to make the playoffs, it's, 'Let's see results.' If you're not getting them, you're in a mode where things are going to change. I don't think of it as pressure, I think of it as expectations, and when you're prepared for those expectations you don't see it as pressure. I don't think they're parallel by any means."
David Backes received a 5 minute major and a match for this hit to the head of Kent Huskins.
from of Yahoo,
Sometime after 6:30 p.m., Hitchcock called from his car – probably somewhere on I-70 or I-71 – as he made the seven-hour drive from his last stop in Columbus, Ohio, to what would be his renaissance in St. Louis. They spoke for about an hour.
Hitchcock told (David) Backes he put a lot of trust in his captains and expected a lot of them, too. He told him to lead by example, to try to inspire others to follow, to make sure the Blues were tough to play against, to never give anyone free ice. He explained what had to change immediately and what would take time.
“It was a good conversation, time well spent,” Backes said. “As you can see, the results have proven themselves.”
The Blues beat the Blackhawks that Tuesday night, 3-0. They have gone 23-6-7 since Hitchcock’s arrival. They’re in the thick of the NHL’s toughest division – heading into Friday’s action they are six points behind the league-leading Detroit Red Wings, one point behind the Nashville Predators and tied with the Blackhawks, with three games in hand on all three of them.
And Backes has been a big key.
I am a bit suprised David Backes did not anticipate the hit from Chris Pronger.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong along with Head Coach Davis Payne announced today the club has named David Backes the 20th captain in franchise history. In addition, the club named Barret Jackman, Jamie Langenbrunner, Andy McDonald and Alex Steen assistant captains.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed forward David Backes to a five-year contract extension.
“David could have been an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and we are excited that he has made the long term commitment to the Blues organization,” said Armstrong. “The way he handles himself on and off the ice represents what the Blues are all about.”
“I am ecstatic to have this deal signed and to be a Blue for many years to come,” said Backes. “My wife and I love this city and these fans have been nothing but great to us. This is a great organization to play for, from top to bottom, and we expect to be a top team in this league.”
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
David Backes is another benefit of the collective bargaining agreement’s liberalized free-agent rules. The power winger will be eligible for unrestricted free agency July 1 and will turn 27 years old May 1.
There were preliminary talks between Backes’ camp and the St. Louis Blues before the season, but those talks have since been shelved ... for now. If I’m a betting man, I believe the Blues will pick up the phone again in 2011.
“It’s a dynamic situation,” Backes told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “Being an unrestricted free agent, they obviously can’t lose me for nothing and not get anything back. I need to have a good year to establish myself. I think they like me, and I love St. Louis. Hopefully something will get done during the season, but obviously there’s a business side to this game that if we can’t come to terms, then unfortunately we’ll have to maybe part ways.”
I don’t see this guy leaving St. Louis. My money’s on GM Doug Armstrong and agent Wade Arnott of Newport Sports Management figuring this out before July 1.
read on for some Leafs and Panthers talk…
from Craig Custance of The Sporting News,
SN: From here, it looks like St. Louis has plenty of cap space and a team ready for a big free-agent addition. Are you disappointed by the lack of big moves from the front office this summer?
DB: I think they’re being smart about it. You don’t necessarily want to spend all your money and commit to long-term contracts to someone looking for the highest bidder. … We’re not spending to the cap but now we’ve got that room to add a few other trinkets to the puzzle in the season that other teams don’t have.
NHL On The Fly discussed this hit from David Backes against Brian Rafalski last night and said the NHL will be watching for these types of hits.
You have to keep your eye on Rafalski as he dumps the puck in towards Conklin.
from Kevin Allen of Mucking and Grinding,
In last spring’s World Championships, Backes laid a hit on Sprunger, causing a major neck injury that required surgery.
After Tuesday’s USA-Switzerland game, Sprunger told ESPN.com writer Pierre Lebrun that during the game Backes essentially threatened to do it again.
Backes denied saying that.
“I think I told him to keep his head up when he was running around a little bit,” Backes said. “I always take it as a compliment when other teams come at me. It means you are doing your job.”
from Michael of The Common Room,
David Backes is an American professional hockey player currently playing for the St. Louis Blues. On New Years, David had the privilege to be named to the USA Olympic Hockey Team.
Since then, he has shown what it means to be a true American hero.
The night after he was named to the Olympic Roster, Backes and the Blues took on the Chicago Blackhawks. During that game, David fought Canadian Olympian Jonathan Toews.
“I don’t know what happened there. Kind of one of those games where you black out and then next thing you know, people are patting you on the back.
“A great effort by a few of my linemates, setting me up on goals, and a great team effort there at the end to clamp down against a team that never gave up against us.”
-David Backes of the St. Louis Blues after his 4 goal performance last night. More on the Blues win from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.