The Basic Info:
David Backes was the consummate captain of the St. Louis Blues this year and helped them once again make the playoffs. He potted 21 goals and 24 assists for a point total of 45 on the season. He has 14 points in nineteen playoff games.
His best feature is his ironman level of toughness. He has only missed 16 games total since the 2008-09 season. The downside is this relentless pace coupled with his age is having a similar effect that the Predators have seen with Mike Fisher...it's not a question of if, but when his contributions will start to fall off a cliff.
As alluded to above, Backes can bring a serviceable amount of offense with a huge defensive game. Announcers all through the Stanley Cup Playoffs have remarked about his smarts on the ice allowing him to make very few if any mistakes. Think Iceman from Top Gun with smaller teeth.
Check out these HERO stats:
His WOWY (With or Without You) is almost dead even. Once upon a time he may have been a strong 2nd line center who could move up to top line if necessary, but according to the numbers above, he would be a solid 3rd liner/borderline 2nd line center. Only in the event that Mike Fisher is unable to return for any reason would having Backes make any sense...but dat depth tho...
Where Would He Fit?
As was stated earlier, Backes would provide serious depth down the middle in the interim before players like Trenin or Kamenev become more seasoned in Milwaukee. Being a center in the mold of Fisher along with his experience as Captain of the Blues, Backes would be an excellent pick up for a couple years.
On the plus side, it would be nice to have him line up against his former team 5 times a year instead of having him staring down our lineup from across the faceoff dot. He plays a nasty 200-foot game and even if you don't like him, it changes things when he's on your team. Just ask the Ducks.
Does It Make Sense?
We already have this player in Fisher. Yes, there is a problem with his injury history but no one plays the game harder nor has the top amount of respect in the locker room than Mike Fisher.
Backes gives me a gut feeling that he would not be a great addition in the chemistry department, and if the Predators can trade Ribeiro in the off-season, the last thing they need is another brooding statue behind the scenes.
Never say never, for the right price like a Poile-ski-mask-wearing-robbery of a contract, Backes would be great for veteran depth and grit. But, there are younger options in free agency that if Poile "nuts up"(Thanks Tallahassee) to acquire would be a game changer moreso than Backes.