Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Five: My Top 5 St. Louis Blues Players

There is a first time for everything and this is going to be my first ever hockey post.  Seems so out of place, but I am a bit of a closet hockey fan.  Growing up in the St. Louis area the Blues were always pretty good, but just could never quite get over the hump to win the Stanley Cup.  I have been to some Hurricanes games over the past decade since moving to Raleigh, but I am not sure that I have really hooked onto cheer for the team.  As a Blues fan I should probably be slightly irked that the Canes have a banner and the Blues don't.  Maybe this is finally the year.  Here are my top 5 Blues, no Gretzky.

Honorable Mention: David Backes, Brendan Shanahan, Pronger, Curtis Joseph, Mike Liut, Pierre Turgeon

5. Pavol Demitra (1996-2004) Demitra may not be a huge name for the Blues, but he was a really productive offensive player.  In eight seasons as a Blue the Slovakian winger scored 204 goals and recorded 493 points in 494 games.  His best season was spent as a Blue during the 2002-2003 season when he scored 36 goals with 57 assists for 93 points.  Demitra also won the Lady Bing Trophy during the 1999-2000 season.  Demitra also spent time with the Kings, Wild, and Vancouver before returning to Europe to play in the KHL.  Pavel died in a plane crash in Russia in 2011.  

4. Keith Tkachuk (1999-2010) The Blues traded for Tkachuk in 1999 as the final piece to a really good team.  Tkachuk never found the touch that helped him net 50 goals for the Jets/Coyotes in the 1990s, but he still had several good seasons for the Blues.  In 543 games as a Blue he scored 208 goals with 427 points.  Tkachuk never got the Blues to the Stanley Cup, or really all that close, but he was probably their best offensive weapon in the early 2000s.  A big forward, Tkachuk scored a lot of goals around the net and was a really physical player.  He should be a Hall of Famer at some point.  

3.  Al MacInnis (1994-2004) MacInnis spent ten years with the Blues and was known for his huge slap shot.  He was really a good overall defenseman, but the crazy hard shot is what got him the most attention.  The Blues picked up MacInnis in the middle of the Mike Keenan era, the Blues made a trade a week during those years, as a proven winner with the Flames.  For what it is worth, one of the closest the Blues came to getting to a Stanley Cup was ended by MacInnis in the 1986 playoffs.  Al ended his Blues career with 127 goals and a plus/minus of 132.  Another Hall of Famer.  

2. Bernie Federko (1977-1989) Federko is the career stats leader in points and assists mainly because Brett Hull did not play his whole career in St. Louis.  When I first moved to St. Louis as a kid Federko was the star player for the Blues.  The center had four 100 point seasons and three 90 point seasons.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2002.  

1.  Brett Hull (1987-1998) Hull scored 527 goals during his career as a Blue.  He crossed 50 goals every year between 1989 and 1994 leading the league three times with goal totals of 72, 86, and 70.  He had three other seasons where he scored at least 40 goals.  Hull was an entertaining player to watch and was bummed to see him go on to other teams, but he did end up winning a Stanley Cup with the Stars and the Red Wings.  

1 comment:

  1. I'd go with Pronger, then MacInnis, and finally Hull. It's a shame Oates didn't stay longer in St. Louis... always loved the Hull & Oates combination.