Q: Hello, I am a huge fan of you as both a player and philanthropist. I love our four legged friends and I heard a rumor regarding your charity work that I wanted to ask you about. Supposedly you had a surplus of cats that did not have homes, and you discussed this in the locker room with Tarasenko. Due to the language barrier he inadvertently accepted a foster parent role for the kittens and has taken them in. Is it true that the reason Vladimir has missed two games (1/20 & 1/21) because he is overwhelmed by all the cats in his apartment and he is scared to leave them? - Allie, age 18
A: First of all, thanks for the kind words. Second, that rumor is hilarious and creative but also untrue. Mr. Tarasenko is an animal lover as he has a dog named Mickey, but hasn't gone as far as fostering cats and skipping duties at the rink to tend to them.
Q: If you were to be stranded on an island and could only bring 3 things what would they be? - Paul, age 10
A: If I was stranded on an island and could bring three things they would be my wife, my tackle box and an ELT (emergency locator transmitter) so when I had enough sun and suffering I could be rescued.
Q: How much did you practice when you were 8 years old? - Robby, age 8
A: When I was 8 yrs old I skated 3 times a week with a team, but growing up in Minnesota I was able to go to outdoor rinks and play whenever I had time.
Q: Is it difficult going into the Olympics with some Blues players from other countries say Canada? - Storm, age 21
A: I think it will be nice to have other guys from the Blues headed over to the Olympics. When we play against each other we will compete hard and have a gold medal and bragging rights on the line.
Q: Besides the Blues' jersey, what is your favorite NHL jersey? - Sean, age 13
A: Other than the Blues jerseys I like the classic New York Rangers jersey.
Q: Which blues uniform is your favorite and why? - Matt, age 15
A: I like the blue jersey the best for the Blues.
Q: Do you do many pranks to your teammates? And do you get pranked back a lot? - Tommy, age 14
A: I sometimes play pranks on my teammates, but they always find out who it was and get you back. It makes the locker room fun and keeps guys on their toes.
Q: Do you have any routines that you do before games? - Tommy, age 14
A: My routine before games is to relax and focus on what I need to do to help our team win.
Q: Was the David Backes roll at Tani sushi restaurant actually inspired by your preferences for sushi? - Sarah, age 27
A: Yes the Backes (adoptapet) roll is inspired by my preferences. Tuna, salmon and the sauces are all my favorite.
Q: Now David... What is your favourite pre-game meal? Mine is a mixed salad! - Evan, age 13
A: Pregame meal is Chicken Marsala and angel hair pasta at home and on the road is salmon with penne and meat sauce with a salad.
Q: I am a huge dog lover, and it is great to see someone do so much for animals!! I was wondering what was the best way to find out the animals you have that are looking for a good home? - Phil, age 26
A: Athletes for Animals does not have a physical shelter, we look to amplify the work and voices of existing organizations by supporting athletes. My suggestion would be to check out adoptapet.com, the nations largest non-profit adoption search engine. We have a link on our page at athletesforanimals.org.
Q: Do you own any dogs and if so what are their breeds and names? - Lizzie, age 16
A: Yes I have 4 adopted dogs at home: Marty (pit-lab mix), Bebe (beagle from a puppy mill breeding stock), Rosey (pit-char pei mix), and Maverick (Rottweiler). We have rescued these from Stray Rescue of St. Louis, Five Acres Animal Shelter and St. Louis City Animal Control. We also have two rescued cats from Minnesota, Sunny (one eyed orange tabby) and Polly (polydactyl 26 toes - orange tabby).
Past questions and answers:
Q: David, do you have one specific player from the league that you look forward to playing with and why? p.s. love the heart and grit you play with. you are a BEAST!! - Jerry, age 22
A: Jerry – I look forward to playing with Ryan Callahan on Team USA in the Olympics. He has determination and desire enough for a whole team.
Q:Which team was your favorite growing up? - Kahla, age 14
A: Kahla – I grew up in MN and for most of my childhood we didn't have an NHL team, so I watched college hockey. But in high school the Wild came to town and I was a big fan!
Q: This really isn't a question, but i just wanted to say i admire the way you play the game. Physical, the way it should be played. I don't play Hockey myself, but i do play Football and i enjoy seeing a few good collisions during a game. Keep it up man! - Joe, age 17
A: Joe – Thanks for the kind word. I try to play every shift as hard as possible!
Q: What was your first reaction when you first got drafted into the NHL? - CJ, age 16
A: CJ – My first reaction to being drafted was relief, as I had sat through 61 other picks and it was finally my turn. After I settled down I was elated to be drafted into the NHL!
Q: Do you have a favorite teammate? - Matt, age 13
A: Matt – I like all of my teammates equally, that is like asking a mom to pick which kid she likes better.
Q: What got you involved with helping the abandoned animals find good home? You are a big inspiration to me by helping the animals. Thank you. - Kat, age 14
A: Kat – I saw the need for someone to give animals a voice. I have been given a great platform to do this and it is extremely rewarding.
Q: What would be your advice for being successful as a player at a high school level? - Noah, age 17
A: Noah – My advice would be to have fun and work hard. Train hard and you will have no regrets in your career.
Q: Who is the most difficult player to play against (besides you) in the NHL? - Chris, age 21
A: Chris – The most difficult player to play against is Pavel Datsyuk, his skill level and determination are a rare combination.
Q: Hey David. You you have any pre-game techniques or rituals you do before games to get you ready? - Joe, age 14
A: Joe – My pre-game rituals are pretty simple, as I try not to get sucked into the beliefs that what I do as rituals determines how the game goes. I like to relax and think the game through, I used to play soccer, but I found that my competitive blood would get boiling too early and it caused me to be overly aggressive on the ice.
Q: How did you decide on number 42 for your jersey? Is there any significance behind that number? Thanks! - Greg, age 36
A: Greg – The number 42 is the one that was given to me during my first training camp and I was just happy to have any number. I was asked if I wanted to change at one point but by then my mother would have killed me as most of the family had jerseys already. Since then I have come up with some good, although not true, reasons for having 42. My initials, for example, are DB, D is the 4th letter of the alphabet and B is the 2nd. There are a few others, but I won’t bore you with them.
Q: Hi David,I don't have a question. Just would like to say thank you for setting a great example for the community and for the kids who look up to you. - Eric, "really old"
A: Eric – Thanks for your kind words. The work that my wife and I do in the community is something that we love doing and really feel grateful that the people of St. Louis who have embraced our efforts. I feel like I have been given a great platform as a professional athlete and don’t want to waste it.
Q: What do you think of the WCHA, as we've known it, breaking up? - Keith, age 51
A: Keith – The fact that the WCHA is breaking up is a little unsettling to me. To break up some great traditions and rivalries to create super conference for what seems like monetary reasons on a collegiate level which is supposed to be about sport, doesn’t sit well with me.
Q: Besides "Glee," do you have another TV series guilty pleasure? - Carole, age 35
A: Carole – I have a few TV guilty pleasures; in no particular order: Gold Rush, Bering Sea Gold, American Idol and my wife watches bachelor which is ridiculous enough to catch my attention.
Q: How did you first get into hockey? - Micah, age 11
A: Micah – I first got into hockey as I was playing baseball in the small town and the season was over. I asked my buddies what they were all doing? They said playing hockey, so I joined them and away I went.