Backes Ready, Excited to Join Ducks and Get Back to Work
by Anaheim Ducks / AnaheimDucks.com February 21, 2020
Veteran forward David Backes shared his excited on joining the Ducks and starting a new chapter in his career. Below are his quotes shortly after the trade went down earlier today.
What was your reaction to the trade?
My general thoughts are anticipation. It’s so natural, especially when you were in the limbo I was in, to start canvassing the league and say That might work. Maybe they need me. Maybe I can help them. What would that look like? Anaheim had a little bit more cap space than some of the other teams. The thought certainly crossed my mind. You can wonder, hope and guess all you want. It’s a crazy business. I was actually praying to get an opportunity to reassert myself and show I still belong in the NHL. Not being a part of the game for six weeks, and feeling like it was taken from me a little bit, has really lit a fire throughout my body to get back into the game and give everything I have. Get into that team setting again and serve my teammates. Hopefully make people around me better. Together, keep improving to help the team in any way we can.
Was Anaheim on your initial no-trade clause?
They were not on the original eight-team list, so I waived my no-trade clause to come to Anaheim. It’s a place where they want me to be a player and help in the locker room. Bring whatever I can bring to help the group. That’s certainly something I take pride in, and I’m excited for the challenge and opportunity that’s presented.
Have you spoken with Bob Murray and/or Dallas Eakins?
I’ve spoken with both of them. As you can imagine, it’s a crazy day of getting the news and hearing it’s final. Putting stuff in bags to relocate for a period of time. I have a wife and a couple young kids. We haven’t sorted out what that’s going to look like. If my daughter is going to leave school temporarily or permanently, or just come when we’re in town. My son is two years old, so a six-and-a-half hour flight across the country isn’t the most pleasant thing for my wife to endure with the two kids. With that being said, we just chatted about the excitement they feel I can help the team. My desire to help a team knowing it’s Anaheim, a team I’ve played against many times. I know what it’s like going into Honda Center. Even if we weren’t able to beat them, which I don’t think we had a ton of success on the teams I was on in that arena, it was going to hurt doing so. Those are the teams you love to play on. I’m hoping to help out any way I can.
What have you done over the past month to stay focused for the next chapter?
It’s been a roller coaster. Am I just going to be dying a slow death, or is this something where I’m going to get another opportunity? Not going to [AHL] Providence originally, and then behind the scenes looking for an opportunity or permission to train. Things that have gone on with that. I’ve been working out vigorously, but haven’t been on the ice very much, if at all. Some of that has been legally and the business side of things with the team insisting I stay healthy and not risking being on the ice. There’s going to be a little bit of a learning curve getting up to speed, but I’m hoping to expedite that with the new energy I’ve got. The fire I feel has been lit throughout my whole being. I can’t wait to get back onto the ice and playing with a new group of guys. Growing together and finding a good team mentality that can help win games. That’s what I love most about the game. Finding a way to be a team to beat our opponent and relish the battle along the way.
What are your immediate travel plans?
My immediate plan is to get into town and drop whatever semblance of my belongings I can pack into a few bags, and then get to work as soon as possible. My wife and two kids have been in Florida for Winter Break, and they get back mid-day tomorrow, and they both have suggested I see them and give them a goodbye hug and kiss and get a little bit of time with them so our time apart is not so stretched out. Hopefully they can come visit in short order. That sentiment is invaluable, and that priority that has been displayed already in the first couple hours of being an Anaheim Duck is phenomenal. It just makes me want to lay it all on the line for guys who are willing to prioritize my family. In short or in long, I’ll be in town late tomorrow night and likely pregame skate Sunday as my first official activity with the Ducks. We’ll see how my body responds to being on the ice and how far I can push it. I’ll likely do some off-ice stuff the next day. I would imagine a good week of gearing back up until I feel like I can be functional in a game and productive for the team.
What does it mean to have an opportunity to write a new chapter to your career?
Some of that might be a thought. It’s one of those things where the last four or six weeks, I’ve had that thought: If this is over, is that the way you want to go out? Talking to retired players, it was very rare to find one who said, “Yeah, I went out on my terms. If I could have written my story, that’s how I would have written the last chapter in the hockey portion of my book.” I think that’s just reality. It’s an extraordinary blessing that we’re able to play this game in this league. You don’t typically or often get to write that last chapter. I didn’t know if that was it for me or not, so I’m coming at this with a full heart and ready to conquer and give everything I’ve got to each situation, and I don’t know what the last chapter will be. Hopefully it’s on my own terms in a glorious moment in Anaheim, but it may not be and I’m ready for that too. I’m grateful to have another opportunity.
LET’S GO DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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