Backes in good company

Spring Lake Park's David Backes is the 20th captain in St. Louis Blues history, and he was honored to be added to a group of tremendous Central Division captains.

"You look at Nicklas Lidstrom, Jonathan Toews, Shea Weber, Rick Nash ... guys that are all world-class players," Backes said. "To be seen in the same light as them, and to lead my troops against their troops, what a great challenge, what a great opportunity."

Zach Parise, another Minnesotan, was also named New Jersey's captain as the Devils hope to sign him long-term before he becomes a free agent next summer.

Cruel summer

It was a painful summer for the Canucks after failing to beat the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals despite two cracks to do so.

"I'd be lying if I said it didn't take me a while to get over it," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "It took a golfing trip with seven of my buddies to Toronto to cut the cord. I came back and, all of a sudden, I wasn't waking up two or three times in the middle of the night. But it was a challenge. I'd love [the players] to remember the feeling after that last game."

Good news for the St. Paul kid

St. Paul's Justin Faulk, who helped Minnesota Duluth to the NCAA title, becomes the third teenage defenseman to play for Whalers/Hurricanes organization. The others? Chris Pronger and Sylvain Cote.