No Surprise: Fans Want Backes as Captain
Warning: this is possibly the least surprising news you’ll read this month. Fans have voiced their opinion – they want David Backes as their next captain. We can actually put a number behind this statement as an overwhelming majority (76%) selected Backes as the future captain in a poll with over 1,200 votes held on StlToday.com. While the fans have made their intentions clear, the team plans to address the situation in training camp.
The poll allowed fans to select between Backes, Alex Steen, Barret Jackman, Alex Pietrangelo and Andy McDonald, as well as an option labeled as “Other”.
The article where the poll was held mentions that G.M. Doug Armstrong still has yet to make a final decision since the team dealt away former captain Eric Brewer. He states that he, and other members of the organization, will make a decision in training camp on which player will assume the captain role, if any at all. Evidently, there is still a possibility that the team will elect to use a leadership group rather than naming an individual captain.
For those wondering, the rest of the poll shaped up as follows:
Backes – 76%
Jackman – 7%
Pietrangelo – 7%
Steen – 6%
McDonald – 4%
Other – 1%
In my opinion, it’s really tough for me to envision anyone else outside of Backes taking over the responsibility. Even with Brewer in the mix last season, I think most would agree it was Backes that visibly took the lead and led the Blues through an injury-plagued year. It’s also worth noting that the organization gave Backes a large contract that will keep him with the team through 2015-16, a sign of the team’s desire to keep him an integral figure on the roster for years to come.
As for the idea of using a “leadership group”, I’m afraid I fail to see the merit in it. From the surface it would come off as the organization being afraid to step on any toes, or in other words, taking the cowardly way out. If the decision eventually is made that the Blues will roll without a true captain, I imagine the backlash will resemble that of when fans on Twitter learned of the club’s embarrassing new slogan.