Monday, July 27, 2015

Backes gives back to MSU

David Backes holds a significant place in Minnesota State hockey history. Now he’ll be an important figure in its future.

On Monday, during the MSU Blue Line Club’s annual Dan Meyer Golf Classic, Backes announced that he and his wife, Kelly, are donating $100,000 to the final renovations to the Verizon Wireless Center’s hockey upgrades. The money, specifically, will go to the strength and conditioning room, which will be named in Backes’ honor.

“To whom much is given, much is required,” said Backes, who played for the Mavericks from 2003 to 2006 and is now the captain for the NHL’s St. Louis Blues. “We felt a pull in our heart to give back.”

Backes, who was a team captain and an All-American during his third and final season with the Mavericks, graduated from Minnesota State with a degree in applied organizational studies in 2014. Kelly Backes is also an MSU alum.

“Mankato has a special place in our hearts,” Backes said. “To have the facility named after us is something pretty special.”

For more on Backes' gift, see the MSU press release here.

Several hockey alumni attended Monday's golf outing, including Backes, Ryan Carter of the Minnesota Wild and Tim Jackman of the Anaheim Ducks, as well as Chad Brownlee, now a country music singer in Canada who performed a concert on Sunday night at the Mankato Brewery.

As for other upgrades to the civic center, the Mankato City Council on Monday tabled a motion to approve the purchase of a new four-sided, center-ice scoreboard for the arena. The council is seeking more information about the proposed $600,000 scoreboard before holding a special meeting next week. More coverage of the scoreboard debate here.

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