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May 29, 2016 | 9:58am ET
What does the future hold for Shattenkirk, Backes?
TheFourthPeriod.com

The St. Louis Blues came within one win of moving on to the final round and battling it out for the Stanley Cup. Now, they're focusing their efforts on next season.

Blues GM Doug Armstrong and head coach Ken Hitchcock will address the media on Tuesday, but questions surrounding the organization have already popped up.

Captain David Backes is without a contract for next season and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

The Blues and Backes' agent have been going back-and-forth on a new contract, even during the playoffs, and contract negotiations are expected to resume shortly.

"This is home," Backes told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Saturday. "(My family and I have) been here 10 years. This is what we consider home. I don't know anything else. Yes, it would be my hope that something gets figured out. There's moving parts and different sides.

"It all needs to align. I haven't even spoken to my agent yet. Hopefully it all works out. But it is the unfortunate part of sports that guys staying with one team is rare, but maybe I'm one of those rare guys. That would be great."

Backes isn't the only Blues player with his future up in the air.

Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has one-year left on his contract, but was the subject of many trade rumors this season. The Blues entertained calls on the star blueliner, and could resume trade discussions in June.

"It was a wild year with all the rumors going on, and it might plant the seed of doubt in your head," Shattenkirk told the Post-Dispatch. "But that's not my decision. I'm happy to be coming back here next year. I have a year left and this is where I want to be next year. That's out of my hands unfortunately."

Hitchcock's future is also in doubt, as his contract expires this off-season and there has been plenty of speculation as to whether or not he'll be back next season.

"He's a great coach," Blues forward Troy Brouwer told the Post-Dispatch. "He wouldn't have the record that he has if he wasn't. I'm not sure what his future is, I'm not sure what they're thinking is, but he's a great X's and O's coach. He always brings a good game plan for us. I don't know if it's the team or him deciding what's going to happen next year, but we wish him the best if he moves on and we wish him the best, obviously, if he stays here."

 
 
 

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