Blues, Backes hope to work out a deal

The contract that was supposed to last forever is set to expire July 1, when Backes will become an unrestricted free agent. Talks between the Blues and their captain have been infrequent to date, and though he holds a full no-trade clause, there’s no certainty which way the situation will unfold with just 37 days left before NHL’s trade deadline Feb. 29.

The Blues could re-sign Backes, who is making $4.5 million per year on his current contract, before the deadline, but if they do that and then fall again in the first round, how would bringing him back be received? They could trade him with his approval, but dealing your captain just two months before the playoffs could cause quite a commotion. Or the Blues could keep him past the deadline and decide whether to re-sign him after the season, though that would come with the risk of losing him with no compensation.

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