American forward David Backes, who has seen limited playing time over the past two seasons due to recurring injuries, today officially signed with St. Louis for a day to retire as a Blue, ending his career at the age of 37.
A product of the Minnesota State University, the 2003 2nd round pick of the Blues debuted in the AHL in 2006, jumping to the NHL full-time in 2007-08. Backes would spend ten seasons in St. Louis, captaining the Blues in his final four, before joining the Boston Bruins prior to the 2016 season. Backes would spend four seasons with Boston, losing to his former team in seven games in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, before joining Anaheim at the 2020 trade deadline. However, he would only play 21 games with the Ducks due to injury. A one-time NHL All-Star in 2011, Backes retires after fifteen NHL seasons with 248 goals and 561 points in 965 career games, along with 39 points in 82 career playoff games.
A Minneapolis native, Backes debuted for Team USA at the senior level, joining the World Championship squad in 2007 for the first of three straight tournaments. Backes would then join the Americans at the 2010 Olympics, earning a Silver medal in Vancouver, returning again with Team USA at the 2014 Sochi Games. Backes would make his final national team appearance at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, held to just two games played. Backes ends his career with 36 national team caps, scoring six goals and 16 points, along with 82 penalty minutes, quite high for international competition.
Backes would win the IHLC a total of three times in his career, with his first two coming during separate stints at his World Championship debut in 2007, and his final in the lead-up to the 2016 World Cup. We wish David and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!
Photo Credit: CBS Sports – IIHF – HHOF – IOC