Speculation circled this summer regarding replacements for the Blues' departed leadership team members. It was expected that David Backes would maintain the C, and Alexander Steen and Alex Pietrangelo would retain the As. But who would replace Barret Jackman and T.J. Oshie? Kevin Shattenkirk was a favorite to replace Jax. As far as an Oshie replacement, the A could've gone to a grizzled vet such as Steve Ott or a top scorer such as Paul Stastny. Heck, Vladimir Tarasenko was even talking so much about the Cup this off-season he was practically campaigning for a leadership rule.
Turns out that none of them need applied - the Blues stayed with the status quo and no more, reverting to the more traditional one C, two As set-up for a leadership team. From the Blues' official press release:
The St. Louis Blues announced today the club’s captains for the 2015-16 season. David Backes will serve his fifth season as Captain, while Alex Pietrangelo and Alexander Steenhave been named Assistant Captains.
Backes, a second round draft choice (62nd overall) by the Blues in 2003, was originally named the 20th team captain in franchise history in 2011 and is entering his 10th season overall with the Blues. Pietrangelo, who was originally drafted fourth overall by the Blues in 2008, is entering his sixth full season with the club, and Steen, who was originally acquired by the Blues via trade on Nov. 24, 2008, is entering his eighth season as a Blue.
Reasons behind this move? It's just easier to go with the proven guys and let the rest of the team advocate for leadership positions during the season via their play and actual leadership. Or, perhaps, Ken Hitchcock and the coaching staff, along with the current leadership team, didn't feel that having more alternate captains was needed. It's extremely doubtful that there is a leadership vacuum on the team that led to a lack of new guys with the A on their chest this year.