It was a very trying season for Boston Bruins veteran David Backes.
The 35-year-old found himself as a healthy scratch at multiple points in the regular season and the playoffs during the B’s stretch to the Stanley Cup Final.
Backes, who still has two years left on five-year, $30 million contract, has put up just 91 points in 201 games in the Black and Gold as he has struggled to keep up with the quicker style of play in today’s NHL.
That fact is not lost on Bruins president Cam Neely, who noted that Backes remains a valuable and respected part of the B’s locker room that younger players look up to.
“This offseason is going to be very important for David. He’s a proud guy. He’s somebody we looked at when we signed him that he would help the core group get to another (Stanley Cup) Final,” Neely told NBC Sports Boston. “But what happened was that nobody predicted how fast [the game] got and how quick it got, and which way David was going.
“So this offseason is going to be very important for David. He’s been a captain. He’s an alternate captain here. He’s got a strong voice and he has opinions. Players look up to him in that locker room. He’s respected in that locker room. I know that.”
Backes put up a career-low 20 points in 70 games last season, so it will be interesting to see how the Bruins decide to factor the veteran’s presence in the locker room into the lineup.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Puetz/USA TODAY Sports Images