Backes contemplating retirement from NHL after this season with Ducks

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David Backes is contemplating retirement from the NHL after this season, the Anaheim Ducks forward said Sunday.

Backes turns 37 on May 1 and will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. Anaheim (14-27-7) is last in the eight-team Honda West Division, 12 points behind the fourth-place Arizona Coyotes. The top four teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“Possibility, [but] I’d say it’s more of a probability,” Backes said. “But it’s not a certainty. That’s just kind of where I’m at. I’ve said it all year that every game you play in this League is a gift, every shift you play is a gift. … It’s a great blessing to be able to play in this League.”

Backes was traded to Anaheim by the Boston Bruins last season on Feb. 21, 2020 and has scored four points (three goals, one assist) in 14 games for the Ducks this season.

In 964 NHL regular-season games, Backes has scored 561 points (248 goals, 313 assists) with the Ducks, Bruins and St. Louis Blues. He has 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 82 playoff games.

Backes was a second-round pick (No. 62) by the Blues at the 2003 NHL Draft.

“I’ve taken a bit of notes from guys before me that in the emotions and the grind of a season to make a concrete, hundred percent decision is a difficult process,” Backes said. “No offense to Brett Favre because he had a great career, but he retired six or eight times and still came back. I think when I say ‘that’s enough,’ I’d like it to be enough and not have to go back and forth.”

If he does retire, Backes said he would spend more time with his family but would consider staying in the NHL in some capacity.

“I certainly still have that passion,” Backes said. “If I’m not playing, something in the game I guess wouldn’t be out of the question.”

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