The St. Louis Blues made a strong step yesterday to showing the rest of the NHL that they are serious not only this season, but in the years to come about making a run at not only the playoffs, but at the Stanley Cup.  Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced the club has signed forward David Backes to a five-year contract extension.

Backes is currently in his fifth NHL season, all with the Blues, and has recorded six points (two goals and four assists) to go along with 32 penalty minutes in 14 games. In 2009-10, the 6’3, 225-pound forward etched career highs in both hits (266) and assists (31) while tying for second on the team in both points (48) and assists in 79 games played.

Also last season, Backes was selected to represent the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics, notching a goal and two assists in six games, helping Team USA capture the Silver Medal.

In 2008-09, he had a career high 31 goals, 54 points and 165 penalty minutes including a goal and two assists in four playoff games. That year, Backes became the sixth player in Blues’ history to score four goals in a game on April 2, 2009 at Detroit.

In addition, along with Alex Ovechkin, he was one of two NHL players to register over 30 goals and 200 hits and the only player in 2008-09 to score over 30 goals and serve more than 150 penalty minutes. During his five-year career, Backes has appeared in a total of 296 games, amassing 162 points on 73 goals and 89 assists to go along with 439 penalty minutes.

The Minneapolis, Minnesota native was originally drafted by the Blues in the second round, 62nd overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Backes and the Blues will be trying to end their current two game losing streak when they head to Arizona tonight to take on the Phoenix Coyotes.  St. Louis Blues game time is 7:00.