BOSTON - As was suspected from the moment David Backes was on the receiving end of William Carrier’s blindside hit on Thursday night in Buffalo, the rugged 32-year-old Bruins forward is out “indefinitely” with a concussion.
Claude Julien said Backes went through medical evaluation the past couple of days and that the post-concussion symptoms were severe enough that he’s been instructed not to watch television or look at telephone screens.
“I haven’t talked to him in two days. I talked to him after the game when he was on the plane. I haven’t because he’s been told to stay home,” said Julien. Backes has had at least one concussion in his previous years with the St. Louis Blues and perhaps more than that given his hard-hitting, physical style of play. “He’s been told to stay away from TV’s and even texting, he shouldn’t be receiving or texting. All I know is that he’s seen the doctors and I’m not quite sure whether he’s getting on the right track now, or if he’s still the same as he was two days ago.”
Carrier was penalized for an illegal check to the head following the play and the was further prevented for answering for his dangerous play when two linesmen stepped in between Carrier and Adam McQuaid on Thursday night. The Bruins replaced Backes with Frank Vatrano on the right wing with Ryan Spooner and David Krejci. On Saturday, the 22-year-old Vatrano scored the game’s first goal just 1:28 into the first period to get things going for the Black and Gold in a 3-1 win over the Sabres.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply shaking my head at David Price. What a typically soft, boorish ballplayer not meant for a big market where more is expected of those wearing the Red Sox uniform.
*There are tempered expectations for rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as he gets things going with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
*Keith Yandle believes that Dale Tallon being back in charge of the Florida Panthers is going to bring unity and solidarity to the Panthers once again.
*Kevin Shattenkirk believes that the New York Rangers are right on the cusp of challenging for a Stanley Cup title.
*Here 20 thoughts from the just-concluded Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp, where there’s some pretty strong, young talent.
*Even as the highest-paid player in the NHL, Connor McDavid is underpaid for what he brings to the table, says Ron MacLean.
*Interesting look at the Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog situation in Colorado, where both players have watched their performance fall off a bit. This is why I’d be very nervous about giving up the farm to trade for either of these players if I’m the Bruins. The jury is out on whether they’re in decline as players, or if it’s simply the mess in Colorado getting them down.
*For something completely different: What a sweet interaction between "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot and a young, emotional fan all decked out in WW gear.
The figures and briefs are in for the Bruins and Ryan Spooner for their arbitration hearing Wednesday, but both sides are still hoping that a deal can be reached prior to it. The Bruins have submitted a one-year contract offer for $2 million. Spooner’s camp countered with $3.85 million, creating a sizeable gap of almost $2 million between the two.
Spooner, 25, has averaged 12 goals and 44 points the past two seasons with the B’s, including 35 power-play points while working the half-wall for a Boston PP that’s been ranked seventh overall two seasons in a row.
Spooner is coming off a two-year contract worth $1.95 million and his is a complicated situation for the Black and Gold. Spooner holds significant value as a trade piece and has been an important part of a very effective power play, but he also finished the playoffs as a healthy scratch after going quietly the past few months of the season.
Spooner was one of the major pieces discussed in trade talks with the Minnesota Wild around the draft prior to the Wild shipping Marco Scandella to the Buffalo Sabres and he's been involved in trade discussions with several teams the past couple of years.
The Bruins have prospect Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson waiting in the wings if/when the B’s decided to spin Spooner to another team, but they also enjoy his speed and playmaking when he’s on his game. There’s clearly a scenario where the Bruins start the season with Spooner installed as their third-line center and perhaps explore more trade discussions while seeing if a full season under Bruce Cassidy can unlock his significant offensive potential.
If that's still in the plan, they’d be wise to come to an agreement and avoid the hearing Wednesday where they’d ostensibly be bad-mouthing a player they’d want back on their team. The Bruins have the right to walk away from Spooner should he be awarded the full $3.85 million by the arbiter. Still, it’s hard to believe they’d do that given that he’s a homegrown asset with trade value.
The feeling at this address is that there’s a deal to be made between the two sides for something around the $3 million mark. That’s something that would be worthwhile for the Bruins if they have any designs on continuing on with Spooner.