‘O Captain! My Captain!’ – Backes leaves Blues, signs with Bruins

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The captain is departing; shipping up to Boston, so-to-speak.

Blues team captain David Backes is joining the Boston Bruins after signing a 5-year, $30 million contract, according to online reports.

The Blues drafted Backes in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. After bouncing around the franchise's minor league system, he debuted with the club in December 2006. Backes was named the 20th captain in franchise history on September 9, 2011, succeeding Eric Brewer. Backes recorded 206 goals and 254 assists in 727 regular-season games. In 49 playoff games, Backes scored 27 points.

The captain's influence was felt off the ice, as well. Backes and his wife, Kelly, launched the Athletes for Animals charity in 2013 to promote animal rescue and adoption.

Backes expressed his gratitude to the franchise, the fans, and the city on social media.

"I cannot imagine a better place to play hockey, grow as a person and build a family over the last 10 years," he wrote.

Friday continues to be a busy day for the Blues. The team has brought David Perron back into the fold on a two-year deal and given goalie Jake Allen a contract extension. Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames have signed Troy Brouwer.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.