The St. Louis Blues pegged David Backes as their new captain on Friday. Backes, 27, will become the team’s 20th captain since they joined the NHL in 1967. The former second round pick (62nd overall, 2003) is coming off a season in which he led the Blues in both goals (31) and points (62). His 31 goals tied a career high set in 2008-09.
The Blues locked up Backes with a five-year extension worth $22.5 million last November.
David Rogers at Frozen Notes on what Backes gives the Blues:
Where Backes excels are in situations and areas that statistics don’t track. There isn’t a “hard work” statistic, but if there was, Backes would find his name among the league leaders. He goes into the gritty areas of the ice and battles for the puck. He can throw crushing checks which in turn creates chaos for the opposition and usually scoring chances for the Blues. He knows how fight, and more importantly, when to fight – ask Team Canada. He embodies what each member of the St. Louis Blues should strive to be – a competitor.
Rugged Backes earned the nickname “Inglorious Backes” following a string of fights with Canadian Olympic team members leading up to the 2010 Games in Vancouver. Minnesota’s Clayton Stoner defended the honour of Canadians last February, but we won’t understate Backes’ toughness.
No one should be overly surprised by Backes’ ascension to captain of the Blues, as he had garnered over 75% of fans’ support for the role in an online poll at the St. Lous Post-Dispatch. The Blues also named Jamie Langenbrunner, Barret Jackman, Andy McDonald and Alex Steen as assistant captains.