The loss of David Backes to free agency has left the St. Louis Blues without a captain — at least for right now.
However, in speaking with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Alex Pietrangelo said he would “welcome the responsibility” if he was named captain. He also placed a great deal of credit toward Backes for passing on some of his leadership qualities to the young blue liner, originally the fourth overall pick to the Blues in 2008.
“I think being so close with Dave over the five years he was captain, I’ve learned a lot from him just kind of sitting back and seeing how he operates on a daily basis,” he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“Not only on the ice but off the ice, which is a big part of it trying to keep the locker room together and doing the off-ice stuff.”
Approaching 500 regular season games played, all with the Blues, the 26-year-old Pietrangelo has emerged over the years as a productive defenseman, but also one that is capable of logging heavy minutes and playing in all different situations.
He finished second among Blues’ defensemen in scoring this season, with 37 points in 73 games, which was seven points behind Kevin Shattenkirk.
Pietrangelo, who has four years remaining on his current contract, also led St. Louis in ice time, averaging 26:18 per game and more than three minutes per game on the penalty kill with Jay Bouwmeester.