PARK CITY, Utah -- The teenaged David Backes figured his future involved engineering school and patent law, not an NHL career or an Olympic medal.
That planned career path didn't come from a family member. The self-proclaimed 'math nerd' had little difficulty with the subject at Spring Lake Park (Minn.) High.
"That was my main road and then this little detour happened and I'm still on the detour, which is fantastic," Backes said.
The 'detour' wound its way to the NHL and the St. Louis Blues, and later the Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, and Backes is being mentioned as a potential captain for Team USA in Sochi, Russia.
One reporter looked at Backes, almost quizically, and noted that she didn't know a lot of 17-year-olds that wanted to be patent lawyers.
"You haven't met a lot of nerdy 17-year-olds like me," said Backes, 29.
That drew a good laugh from the reporters and Backes.
Backes, the captain of the St. Louis Blues, was in Park City on Monday at the USOC's Media Summit. Also on hand for the session was Team USA's general manager, David Poile, who is Nasvhille's executive vice president of hockey operations and general manager.
Potentially, Backes could be an Olympic teammate again with Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
One question comimg his way had to do with Quick.
How much better has Quick gotten since 2010?
Backes, who was Quick's Olympic teammate in Vancouver, can offer first-hand testimony.
(Quick did not get in a game for Team USA in Vancouver as he was the No. 3 goalie on the team behind starter Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas.)
Now any first-hand testimony about Quick is rather painful.
"He ended my season the past two years. So kind of a sore subject," Backes said.
Backes was smiling and kidding, sort of, with the last part of the comment. The Blues open the regular season against Nashville on Thursday. They don't play at Staples Center against the Kings until Dec. 2. Last season, the Kings beat the Blues in the opening round of the playoffs and also defeated St. Louis in the second round in their run to the Stanley Cup in 2012.
"It's another one of those things where you hate playing him, you try to score on him obviously whenever possible," Backes said of Quick. "You think, in February, that could be the guy that's behind us [at the Olympics].
"He's progressed. You've seen a Stanley Cup in his corner and a lot of successes since then."
Backes spoke about the importance of goaltending at the Olympic tournament and the strength at that position.
"Ryan Miller was out of this world," Backes said. "He carried us through a lot of games. I think you need great goaltending to win a tournament like this. It's not like you can stumble for two games and figure out what you are doing and win four straight and win a best of four series.
"You have to be good every night. ... Goaltending is imperative. That being said, we've got a lot of great choices. I think the worst part about our goaltending is David Poile's gotta choose just three of those guys."
ALSO:Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun