The following series will come to you between one and three times per week over the duration of the offseason. Yer Blues, title borrowed from The Beatles song off The White Album, will feature each Blues player from the 2010-2011 season, including those traded. Yer Blues will feature players’ stats from the season, their position, any past teams played for and basic general information about the player as well as any interesting bits of information and current news.
42 / David Backes – Center – Shoots: Right
Born: May 1, 1984 – Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota
How incredibly apt that the Yer Blues series start off with Mr. David Backes, also known to fans as Captain America, David BaCkes, Inglorious Backes. David Backes has gained much steam in the race to become “all-time” current fan favorite and garnered much attention from Blues fans, hockey/NHL fans, Olympic fans, media and the like – and deservedly so. Even in high school David Backes was a proven hockey star after being named All Conference, All Metro and All State in Minnesota in 2002. Backes was acquired by the St. Louis Blues in June 2003 as a second round selection, 62nd overall. Before he saw any time donning the note, however, he spent some time in junior college while playing for the USHL (amateur hockey players age 20 and under) as a member of the Lincoln Stars. In his 87 games with Lincoln, Backes amassed 90 points. In 2003, Backes started at Minnesota State and in his 3 seasons in Mankato he had roughly 39.6 points per season. Immediately after his 2005-06 season in Mankato, Backes signed his contract with the Blues and was shipped to Peoria for their last 12 games of the season. In those 12 games as a Riverman, the Inglorious one scored 5 goals and had 5 assists. Backes was back as a member of the Peoria Rivermen in 2006-07 but quickly was promoted as a full time member of the St. Louis Blues. 2006-07 also saw David Backes as a member of the United States World Championship team for the first time; he was also back in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and didn’t fail to score points in any of those appearances.
Perhaps most notable in his career thus far, though, was his invitation to be an Olympian with the United States in 2010′s Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Backes’ lone goal in the Olympics, a rebound off US goalie Ryan Miller that Backes carried through the length of the ice and through Swiss defenders, was possibly one of the best looking US goals throughout the whole competition (unfortunately due to rights, video is pretty much nonexistent). Backes was awarded a Silver medal after losing to Canada in the final game.
This season David Backes wore a new adornment on his jersey – an “A“. Some may say it simply means ‘awesome’, to which I won’t argue, but to everyone else it meant a chance for Backes to show his true leadership on this team as an assistant captain. Though one of four players to wear an A this season, it was no secret that he rightfully deserved that credit, if not one step higher as the C. Backes played in the NHL All-Star game (snooze or not, it’s still nice to add to the resume) and had a most impressive season, ending with 31 goals, 31 assists and a final rating of +32.
Earlier this season the Blues locked David Backes in with a 5 year extension. The contract kept him from becoming a unrestricted free agent and will pay him $22.5 million through the life of said contract.
It’s no secret that Backes can and will crush you, but he’s also a natural leader; his commanding play and authoritative hockey sense, as well as his good natured personality off the ice are attributes others seek when naming a Captain. Here’s to next season and seeing a big, shiny “C” on his jersey – everyone knows he’s ready and has earned it.