ST. LOUIS - Shortly after signing a five-year contract with the Boston Bruins, David Backes wrote the following farewell message to St. Louis on his Twitter account:
“I vividly remember my 1st goal as a Blue against the LA Kings in my first home game at Scottrade Center, just as I remember my last as a Blue in Game 1 of the WCF against the San Jose Sharks. In between those goals are 10 years of amazing memories of a franchise that grew from the worst team in the NHL to one of the Top 4 teams in the league & the trials and triumph along the way.
“I will remember my time playing in St. Louis with the amazing people, relationships I built, the faithful diehard fans who support the team and how this devoted community embraced the philanthropic work my wife & I do. All of these amazing qualities make our family proud to call St. Louis home. I cannot imagine a better place to play hockey, grow as a person & build a family over the last 10 years.
“My countless dreams of being the first Blue to raise a cup and play my whole career with one organization have sadly come to an abrupt and unexpected end. I pass the torch on to whoever comes after me and wish this team in this town that championship they have waited 50 years to celebrate.
“I will forever cherish the handshakes, the cheers and my time in this city. This isn’t goodbye, this is goodbye for now. Thank you St. Louis!”
Backes leaves the Blues ranking fifth in team history in games played (727) and sixth in points (460) and goals (206). He spent 10 seasons with the club and was named captain back in 2011.
“It’s disappointing, but that’s pro sports,” Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said. “David had earned the right to be an unrestricted free agent. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the right term that was acceptable to him and to the team, but it doesn’t diminish anything he’s done here over his career.