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Backes, waived by Bruins, won't play in American Hockey League

Forward is healthy, decision made 'to preserve all potential options for both David and the Bruins'

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- David Backes will not play for Providence of the American Hockey League.

The 35-year-old forward was waived by the Bruins on Jan. 17.

"After speaking with David, we have agreed that it is in the best interest of David and the Bruins for him not to play in Providence at this time," Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said in the statement. "David is fit and able to play, but in order to preserve all potential options for both David and the Bruins moving forward, we have decided this is the best course of action."

It is not clear what the next step would be for Backes. He could opt to retire, or the Bruins could trade him. Backes did consider retirement earlier in the season after he collided with Ottawa Senators forward Scott Sabourin on Nov. 3 but decided to return after getting an opinion from an outside concussion specialist.

Backes is in the fourth season of a five-year, $30 million contract he signed with the Bruins on July 1, 2016. He last played Jan. 9, and has three points (one goal, two assists) in 16 games.

The Bruins felt they had better options at Providence when changes were needed for the roster.

"We're going to look at younger guys, and just felt at the end of the day, you do what's best for your team, what makes you the best team," coach Bruce Cassidy said after Backes was waived.

Selected by the St. Louis Blues in the second round (No. 62) of the 2003 NHL Draft, Backes has 554 points (245 goals, 309 assists) in 944 games with the Bruins and Blues.

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