Posted on: September 9, 2011 3:27 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 3:30 pm
By: Adam Gretz
The St. Louis Blues finally have a new captain.
It was announced on Friday by head coach Davis Payne that forward David Backes will wear the C during the 2011-12 season, becoming the 20th captain in the history of franchise. For the past four years that role was carried out by defenseman Eric Brewer, who was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning last season. Along with naming Backes as captain, the Blues also announced that Barrett Jackman, Alex Steen, Jamie Langebrunner and Andy McDonald will serve as assistants on a rotating basis throughout the season.
Payne said the Blues were looking for a guy that plays important minutes, in quality situations while also providing emotional leadership and stability, and Backes definitely looks to be that type of player. He plays in all situations for the Blues (even strength, power play, shorthanded) and often times goes up against the other teams top players, and still manages to find himself as one of the top producers in the St. Louis lineup.
He's coming off a career year offensively, recording 62 points during the 2010-11 season, a personel best, while also tying his previous career-high with 31 goals, leading the team in both categories.
"It's obviously a huge honor," said Backes, citing a number of the players that came before him as captain of the team, including Brett Hull, Wayne Gretzky and Bernie Federko. "Hopefully I can do a fraction of the job those guys were able to do, and hopefully I can be the guy the team looks to when we're having tough times, or when we're having good times, and more of a lead by example type of guy."
A second-round pick by the Blues in 2003, Backes has scored 102 goals in 364 NHL games, and has also represented the United States on the International level, most recently during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver where he scored a goal and two assists for the Silver Medal winning team.
You can check out the entire Backes press conference from Friday over at the Blues website.