The St. Louis Blues have reported on their site that forward David Backes has been re-signed for five more years. Reports are that the contract is a $4.5 million/year cap hit and that it has a no-trade clause. Backes is in his fifth professional season, scoring 73 goals and 162 points in 296 NHL games, all with the Blues. He was a second round pick of the Note back in 2003. The American has played for Team USA in the Olympics and many feel he is the Blues Captain-In-Waiting at this point of his career.
Here are the pros of the deal:
- Backes is one of the faces of the franchise and the 26-year-old is likely just entering his prime. An unrestricted free agent this summer, the Blues avoided losing him for nothing or being put in the awkward position of having to trade him if negotiations weren't going well.
- This is not only good for the team to have a good young player stay with this team, but it's a fan-friendly move as well. One of the more popular Blues, losing No. 42 would have been tough on a fanbase that has suffered plenty over the last few years.
Here are the cons of the deal:
- This management loves handing out contracts of $4 million-plus. Barret Jackman, Brad Boyes, Eric Brewer and now David Backes have all been given long-term $4 million-plus deals. It'd becoming a standard in St. Louis and could become a problem when this next load of youngsters come up for contract negotiations. Backes has only had one truly outstanding statistical season, 2008-09, when he scored 31 goals and had 54 points. That's a lot of cash for a guy who has hit 30 once and never been close to 60 points in a season.
- I hate no-trade clauses. I don't know what drives David Backes and if he has the internal fire to motivate himself to reach the next level of NHL greatness, but I think we can all point to examples around the NHL where no-trade clauses have backfired. NTCs breed complacency. I hope that's not an issue ever here.
Go ahead and break out your 42 jerseys, Blues fans, because he's here to stay.