Via Fox 2 St. Louis, we now have the most endearing story of 2012. David Backes is a good hockey player. They don't have to do good work to stand out. But Backes is the captain of the St. Louis Blues—they're good too, mind you, with the second-highest point total in the Western Conference—and he has 16 goals and 21 assists on the season, and, nonetheless, he's saving puppies:

t is the most unusual of dog rescues, involving three strays, a 700-mile journey, and a pro hockey superstar. It's the story of Emmitt, Lincoln, and Ernie, who should feel pretty special.

The dogs were happy to be on the ground Friday night after their cross country trip with St. Louis Blues center and captain David Backes. Backes never imagined being a dog chauffeur.

"I did not," said with a smile, "but (it's) pretty rewarding to see how happy these guys are to be here, and probably happy just to be out of that plane."

Yes, plane. Backes, his wife Kelly, and flight instructor Tim Voithover had taken off hours earlier. They flew from St. Louis to Houston, Texas to pick up the dogs.

The dogs are happy! Hugs and Milk-Bones for everyone!

Blues Player Flies Plane 700 Miles To Rescue 3 Stray Dogs [Fox 2 Now]