Boston signs former Blues captain Backes — five years, $30 million (Update: re-signed Liles, too)

22 Comments

Boston wasted little time finding a replacement for Loui Eriksson.

The B’s have landed former St. Louis captain David Backes with a five-year, $30 million extension — one that carries a $6 million average annual cap hit, per Sportsnet.

Backes, 32, had previously spent his entire 10-year career with the Blues and is coming off a pretty solid ’15-16 — 21 goals and 45 points during the regular season, seven goals and 14 points in 20 playoff games.

A big, physical and tough forward that can play both center and wing, Backes checks a lot of boxes for Boston. He definitely fits the “Big Bad Bruins” mold, and has some good leadership qualities, having worn the “C” in St. Louis for the last five years.

As mentioned above, the Bruins needed to fill a gap in the top six forward group with the exodus of Eriksson, who signed with Vancouver to kick off free agency.

Speaking of exoduses, this is a significant one for the Blues. Backes had been the face of the franchise over the last few seasons but, with the team now being turned over to youngsters like Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Robby Fabbri, Backes was allowed to leave.

His exit came after two other highly visible Blues — Barret Jackman and T.J. Oshie — also departed.

UPDATE: Boston has also re-upped with veteran d-man John-Michael Liles, who they acquired from Carolina at the deadline. It’s a one-year, $2 million deal, per Cap Friendly, and shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

Last night, we passed along word the Bruins were having “very productive talks” with Liles. Makes sense, given how badly the B’s need help on defense.