One pending UFA that hasn’t gained much attention this season — partly due to the other high-profile UFAs around the league — is St. Louis captain David Backes.
Backes, in the last of a five-year, $22.5 million deal with a $4.75M average annual cap hit, is slated to hit the open market in July, which would be a fairly significant move given he’s spent his entire 10-year career in St. Louis.
So where are the Blues and Backes with regards to a new contract?
Not anywhere, really.
From the Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford:
The Blues, whom Armstrong acknowledged will not be re-signing pending unrestricted free agents David Backes or Troy Brouwer before Monday’s deadline, may look the same come Tuesday.
While there have been rumblings about the Blues potentially trading Backes, Armstrong all but shot them down in late January, telling the Post-Dispatch moving Backes would be the “least likely scenario,” noting that a “first-round pick does us no good when we’re going to this year’s playoffs.”
Which makes you wonder what the future has in store.
St. Louis has been gradually moving away from the “old guard,” trading T.J. Oshie to Washington last summer while allowing Barret Jackman to leave via free agency. But it would seem difficult to do the same with Backes, who’s been the club’s longest-serving captain since Chris Pronger.