St. Louis Blues (hockey)

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St. Louis Blues
St. Louis Blues
Founded 1967
Home ice Savvis Center
Based in St. Louis
Colours Blue, white, gold
League National Hockey League
Head coach Mike Kitchen
General manager Larry Pleau
Owner Bill Laurie
(Walmart heir)

The St. Louis Blues are a National Hockey League team based in Saint Louis, Missouri. They are named after the famous W. C. Handy tune "St. Louis Blues".

Founded: 1967
Arena: Savvis Center (formerly Kiel Center)
Uniform colors: Blue, white, and gold
Logo design: A winged musical note with lines departing to the right
Stanley Cups won: 0

Franchise history

The Blues were one of the Expansion Six to enter the league in 1967 when the NHL doubled in size. The newcomers were hampered by restrictive rules that kept virtually all the top players with the existing teams.

Missing image
Red Berenson led the Blues in scoring in their first two seasons

The Blues, originally coached by Lynn Patrick, and then Scotty Bowman, made the Stanley Cup finals in each of their first three years of existence, they failed to win a game. It should be noted that the revised playoff format placed all six expansion teams in the same division, forcing one of the new teams to face an Original Six team in the finals. In those three series, the Blues lost twice to the Montreal Canadiens and once to the Boston Bruins. The first Blues teams included aging retreads like Doug Harvey, Jacques Plante and Dickie Moore, in addition to younger talent like Red Berenson and Bob and Barclay Plager. St. Louis has not been back to the finals since, only twice going as far as the Conference Finals.

Through the 1970s, the Blues, playing mostly sub-.500 hockey, were on the brink of financial collapse. Ralston Purina invested in the team, and by 1980 they were the second-best team in the league in the regular season, with Berenson as coach, Wayne Babych scoring 54 goals, and Bernie Federko leading the team in scoring. The Blues fell flat in the playoffs that year, losing in six games to the New York Rangers in the second round.

The Blues quietly slid back below .500, but they still made the playoffs in 1982 (and have done so every year since 1980). The team was still faltering off the ice. Purina got out of its investment with the team and padlocked the arena. The team looked destined for a move to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1983 before the league blocked the sale to a group of investors led by Bill Hunter, and ended up having to take over the team itself.

After Harry Ornest ended up purchasing the team, it became competitive both on and off the ice. Doug Gilmour, drafted by St. Louis in 1982, emerged as a superstar. By 1986, they reached the league semi-finals against the Calgary Flames. Doug Wickenheiser's overtime goal in game 6 to cap a furious comeback remains one of the greatest moments in team history, but they lost game 7 2-1.

Demers left for the rival Detroit Red Wings that summer, but the Blues kept chugging along. General Manager Ron Caron was one of the more astute in the league, landing Brett Hull, Adam Oates, Curtis Joseph, Brendan Shanahan and Al MacInnis, among others, through the late 1980s and early 1990s. Always a contender during this time period, they never passed the second round of the playoffs.

Hull remained one of the league's top superstars, scoring 86 goals in 1990-1991 - second only to Wayne Gretzky (who himself played in St. Louis briefly in 1996) in goals scored in a season in NHL history. The Blues were the second-best team in the regular season last year, but a second-round defeat to the Minnesota North Stars was exemplary of their playoff woes.

Mike Keenan was hired as general manager and coach and quickly instituted some major changes. Gone was Brendan Shanahan, for instance, and in was an aging Wayne Gretzky (who immediately bolted to the New York Rangers following the season). Neither the fans nor the team ownership was fond of what he did, and he was fired in 1996.

Caron was reinstated as general manager, but even he could not stop the tide of free agency. Hull left for the Dallas Stars in 1998 and won the Stanley Cup in his first year in the Lone Star State.

Defenseman Chris Pronger (acquired from the Hartford Whalers in 1995), Pavol Demitra, Pierre Turgeon, Al MacInnis, and goalie Roman Turek, continued to make the Blues a contender. In 1999-2000 they had the best record in the NHL during the regular season, earning the Presidents' Trophy, but were stunned by the San Jose Sharks in the first round in seven games.

In 2001 the Blues advanced to the Western Conference Finals before bowing out in five games to the eventual champion Colorado Avalanche.

Despite years of mediocrity and the stigma of never being able to "take the next step", the Blues have been a playoff presence every year since the 1979-80 season. In fact, the team had only missed the playoffs three times in franchise history.

Players of Note

Hall of Famers:

Current stars:

Not to be forgotten:

Retired Numbers:

External Links

St. Louis Blues official web site (

National Hockey League
Current Teams : Anaheim | Atlanta | Boston | Buffalo | Calgary | Carolina | Chicago | Colorado | Columbus | Dallas | Detroit | Edmonton | Florida | Los Angeles | Minnesota | Montreal | Nashville | New Jersey | NY Islanders | NY Rangers | Ottawa | Philadelphia | Phoenix | Pittsburgh | San Jose | St. Louis | Tampa Bay | Toronto | Vancouver | Washington
Trophies and Awards: Stanley Cup | Prince of Wales | Clarence S. Campbell | Presidents' Trophy | Art Ross | Bill Masterton | Calder | Conn Smythe | Hart | Norris | King Clancy | Lady Byng | Lester B. Pearson Award | Rocket Richard | Plus/Minus | Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award | Jennings | Vezina
Related Articles: AHL | ECHL | WHA | World Cup

de:St. Louis Blues (Eishockey) sv:St. Louis Blues


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