Blues name Backes' successor as captain: Alex Pietrangelo
ST. LOUIS -- The Blues have a new captain -- Alex Pietrangelo, the player the old captain would've picked if the choice had been his.
Ex-captain David Backes, who signed as a free agent with the Boston Bruins after last season's march to the Western Conference finals, was in Pietrangelo's wedding in July and said at the time that he'd like to give him the "C" as a wedding present. Alas, that was up to the Blues, who announced Thursday that the defenseman, who had been wearing the "A" for The Note, would be sporting a new letter on his sweater this season.
Pietrangelo, 26, was an assistant captain along with forward Alexander Steen last season. He will be the 21st captain in Blues history, and the 10th defenseman to earn the distinction.
The Blues' assistant captains in 2016-17 will be Steen, Kevin Shattenkirk, Paul Stastny and Vladimir Tarasenko.
Pietrangelo, who was selected by the Blues in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, has been a mainstay on the St. Louis blueline since the 2010-11 season. He has 255 points (51 goals, 204 assists) in his NHL career (459 regular-season games) and consistently racks up more ice time than any other Blues player. He is the only defenseman in Blues history to score at least 40 points in each of his first four full NHL seasons.