The Bruins jumped into Friday’s free agency frenzy and signed St. Louis Blues center David Backes to a five-year deal worth $30 million. Is the 32-year-old Minnesota native past his prime? A bit. Did general manager Don Sweeney, in the same infinite wisdom that saw fit to trade Zac Rinaldo for a third-rounder, overpay? Probably.
But never ye fret, Bruins fans, because at least he’s a dog person.
The roaring Dumpster fire that was the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi—which admittedly look tame now in comparison to Rio, with all its Zika, displacement, jaguar shootings, and dead bodies washing up on the volleyball court—had a bit of stray dog problem. Backes and his wife, Kelly, hoped to raise awareness about the shelters where hundreds of stray dogs were being kept.
“She doesn’t take ‘no’ very lightly,” he told ESPN in 2014. “So when she saw those two pups and a few more, she said we’ve gotta do something to get these out of here and tell their story and broaden the awareness of some of the mistreatment of animals—and just the difference in [how] they treat their companion animals and we treat ours.”
The Backeses, who already had a foundation called Athletes for Animals, adopted two, 3-to-4-month-old pups, named Sochi Junior and Sochi Jake, bringing their rescued dog total to a glorious four.
I mean, look at these guys.
— Athletes For Animals (@A4A_org) May 9, 2016
— David Backes (@dbackes42) August 26, 2015
JUST LET DAVID BACKES KISS DOGS AND PLAY FOR THE ST. LOUIS BLUES!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/f2MBZzno2R
— Blues Team Mom (@forsciencejohn) June 1, 2016
— David Backes (@dbackes42) September 24, 2015
— David Backes (@dbackes42) December 11, 2014
— David Backes (@dbackes42) November 15, 2014
— David Backes (@dbackes42) August 26, 2014
Cabin time with the pack! pic.twitter.com/zKtPVWbT8t
— David Backes (@dbackes42) July 25, 2014
See? You’re already feeling better about that contract.
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