Just announced by the team, the Blues have re-signed star power-forward David Backes (also known as Chuck Norris’s hero) to a five year, $4.5-ish million a season contract extension. It had been reported that negioations had stalled, which of course led to all sorts of Bleacher Report spectulation. Well, BR, wrong again, eh?
David Backes now makes more money than the dude in the blue bear suit will ever see in 10 lifetimes.
Gallagher over at Game Time has a good pro/con breakdown. Valid questions, and they tend to come up every time a guy is signed for big money with a no trade clause – now that he has the dough, and now that he’s not being moved, will he slack off? Can Backes have another season like the year before last where he scored 31 goals and nailed 4 in a game against the Red Wings? No one knows. We don’t have a magic 8 ball to shake, and if the Blues had one right now you’d probably shake it and it would get concussed.
Backes’ re-signing is more important for the intangibles than for the stats. The team’s a hodgepodge of secondary scoring. It has been for the past season, when Brad Boyes decided to no longer score goals. Signing Backes shows a commitment, much like when Erik Johnson was re-signed, to locking up the talented core of players and to giving them time to grow and develop together as a cohesive unit. It might cause some traffic jamming later on as far as contracts go, but some will go before we re-sign youngsters to long contracts. Backes is also a fan favorite, and the Blues probably would rather not deal with the disgust to be fired at them if the team loses someone who stands a pretty good chance of being captain when Brewer’s tenure in that position ends.
On-ice, Backes is the heart of the team. He’s not scared to play rough, to get into a fight, or to score – basically, he took that old “whatever it takes” motto to heart, and you want a guy like that on the team, both in the locker room and on the ice. The Blues draft smart, but there’s no benefit to drafting smart if you don’t keep who you draft. St. Louis recognizes the difference between bargaining chips and core players, and they made the right call by determining that Backes was one of the latter.