David Backes, a long-time player in the NHL known for his dominance as a power forward has began to decline in his point production in his past few seasons. Since being traded to the Bruins three seasons ago, Backes’ has suffered three major concussions resulting in a lot of missed time and recovery. This has undoubtably been a major factor to his recent decline.
Backes has recently been a part of three fights in the past four games. It is a known fact that Backes has approached Bruins’ head coach Bruce Cassidy informing him that he is willing to take this new role of team enforcer so that he is able to be a relevant part of their team. This commitment clearly is accompanied with the potential for detrimental health consequences for the Bruins forward who has a history of severe concussions. The question becomes: why risk your own health and future when Backes is guaranteed to earn just around 6 million per year for the next two seasons?
Backes’ case is an example of a player who was as talented and as good of a player in the NHL as any team could want, but as his career inevitably began to diminish, he became willing to over-conform and battle through serious injuries to remain active in the game. This is a major problem within the NHL, as research continues on concussions and brain trauma on both players who are still playing and those who have retired.