I've been accused before about obsessing too much about former Maverick David Backes in this blog. Sure, other college hockey programs have many, many more NHLers to track, so the fact that he's the MSU hockey team's most accomplished alum in the sport (most NHL games, St. Louis Blues captain, two-time Olympian) isn't necessarily saying a lot when compared to the others (Tim Jackman and Ryan Carter have had long careers, of course, with Carter being part of a Stanley Cup winner).
But how can one ignore what Backes has done and continues to do.
He played remarkably in the Olympics, despite Team USA's disappointing finish in the medal round and now returns to a Blues team that leads the NHL's Central Division.
It's well known that Backes and his wife, Kelly, are active in the cause of rescuing animals, and it was well publicized that there was a stray dog problem in Sochi, Russia, site of the Winter Games. Sure enough, Backes returned to the United States with a couple of those dogs. Check out a video on Backes' rescue efforts on Yahoo Sports, and more here from a St. Louis TV station.
On Monday night, I watched the PBS documentary "Ice Warriors," about the U.S. Sled Hockey team, which will compete in the Paralympics. And, spoiler alter, who should make a cameo? David Backes. The team held one of its training camps in St. Louis, and Backes came by to skate with the team, which is coached by former Wisconsin coach Jeff Sauer. Backes treated the team to a suite at a Blues game.
Of course, last fall, Backes made a generous donation to the Mankato Area Hockey Association to help the group purchase equipment for its teams and players new to the sport of hockey.
What more can this guy possibly do? The guess here is: A lot.