BOSTON — Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced Friday that the team has placed veteran forward David Backes on waivers.

If Backes is not claimed by noon Saturday, he will be assigned to Providence of the AHL.

“David doesn’t agree with the situation, but that was the decision we made for the good of the team,” said Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy. “I respect David as a person and as a player, but we felt we had better options going forward.”

Backes’ departure was the second move in a midseason house cleaning of players no longer deemed reliable enforcers or scorers.

Veteran right wing Brett Ritchie was placed on waivers Wednesday.

Backes, 35, was signed to a lucrative free-agent contract in 2016 to bring scoring and toughness to the roster. He earned a reputation with the St. Louis Blues as a goal scorer who would fight when the situation demanded retribution. But he struggled to score with the Bruins, and he has had a history of concussions. He has played in only 16 games this season and had a goal and two assists.


“There are two sides to this and I have a lot of respect for the person and the human being and what he has accomplished in this game,” Cassidy said. “We brought him to give us some of that bite that has been a subject around here for the past few days. That was something we hoped for and was there for a while, but concussions came into play and that affects your decisions as a coach.”

The Bruins’ need for secondary scoring also factored into the decision. The Bruins recalled Karson Kuhlman from Providence to fill Ritchie’s roster spot in Thursday night’s 4-1 win over the Penguins. Cassidy said injured forward Anton Blidh is close to returning after successful shoulder surgery on Sept. 23.

“He went on waivers and it was something we had discussed internally with Donny,” said Cassidy. “We just felt there were guys coming healthy, as with Ritchie, in terms of Kuhlman, and Blidh is getting closer.

“We wanted to look at some younger guys and do what best or the team and what makes you a better team. Donny put him on waivers and that was the best thing.”

Backes was a popular clubhouse presence, a trait he exhibited with the Blues and brought to the Bruins. Putting an accomplished veteran on waivers reemphasized the NHL’s callous business side.

“It’s tough and I feel bad for him,” said Brad Marchand. “He’s been such a great teammate and a great friend and he’s has such a great career, but this is a part of the business that really sucks. When you get into numbers games, you get into situations like this. You don’t never want to see a guy get treated in this kind of way, especially a guy that put his time in and earned his stripes and been such a great player in this league for long time.


“Unfortunately, that’s the business side of things … He’s been an exceptional teammate and I can’t say enough good things about him.”

HURRICANES: All-Star defenseman Dougie Hamilton is out indefinitely because of a broken left leg.

The team announced that Hamilton broke his left fibula during a loss at Columbus on Thursday night and underwent surgery Friday.

No time frame was given for Hamilton’s recovery.

Hamilton, 26, had 14 goals and 26 assists through 47 games. He was tied for second in goals and fourth in points (40) among NHL defensemen.

PREDATORS: Forward Viktor Arvidsson was fined $2,000 under the league’s rules regarding diving and embellishment.


A player gets a warning for a first citation and a $2,000 fine for the second citation.

League officials said Arvidsson received a warning following an incident Dec. 27 against Pittsburgh. His second citation occurred Jan. 7 game against Boston.


PENGUINS 2, RED WINGS 1: Sidney Crosby scored a power-play goal 1:33 into overtime to lift Pittsburgh to a win in Detroit.

It was Crosby’s third goal in three games since returning from a 28-game absence because of a core muscle injury. Bryan Rust also scored for the Penguins in the third period after Filip Zadina put Detroit ahead in the second.

All three goals came with the man advantage.

Crosby scored by redirecting the puck past goalie Jimmy Howard from in front of the net off a pass from Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh was on the power play after Detroit’s Luke Glendening took Jared McCann down away from the play and was called for interference.

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