The Bruins announced this morning what many people suspected a couple of weeks ago: David Backes isn't going to be suiting up in Providence.
The team released the following statement from Don Sweeney:
"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. 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 makes sense from both sides, really: Backes has little to gain playing in the AHL, and plenty at risk, with guys who may take a run at him just to make a name for themselves.
For the Bruins, playing Backes in the AHL would take a roster spot and ice time away from a younger player who could use the development.
Where we go from here remains unclear. LTIR isn't an option, as the Bruins' statement clearly says that Backes is healthy.
The team doesn't appear interested in doing something like suspending him for failure to report, so... we're in limbo.
The "options open" part of the statement seems to imply that the Bruins are still working the phones for a potential move of some kind, while Backes' options are essentially limited to retire, sit out, or try to play in the AHL.
We'll see what happens, but the story definitely isn't quite over yet.