6 St. Louis Blues Retired Numbers
The St. Louis Blues entered the National Hockey League with five other teams in 1967-68 to double the league’s size. St. Louis and the rest of the expansion teams were put in a division of their own, meaning that as bad as they six teams were, one of them would make it to the Stanley Cup finals. In the first three years of their existence in the NHL, the St. Louis Blues were the team from the West that made it to the finals. They were unsuccessful in those first three attempts and have yet to win the prize.
The Blues have retired the jersey numbers of six players through the years. Three of the six players are now enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Three were originals draft picks of the Blues in the NHL Amateur / Entry Draft.
Al MacInnis had his number 2 retired by the Blues in 2006. MacInnis was drafted fifteenth overall in 1981 by the Calgary Flames and played with Calgary from 1983-84 to 1993-94. He shifted to St. Louis for the 1994-95 season and remained with the Blues until retiring after 2003-04. Along with Denis Potvin and Chris Pronger, Al is one of only three to win both the Max Kaminsky Trophy as the Ontario Hockey League’s top defenseman and the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best blue liner. MacInnis won the Kaminsky as a member of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers and the Norris with the Blues.
The two-time Olympian for Canada is one of only five defensemen in the history of the National Hockey League to record more than 100 points in a single season. MacInnis accomplished this feat in 1990-91, contributing 103 points for the Flames. Al entered the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.
Bob Gassoff had his number 3 retired by St. Louis in 1977. Gassoff was a third round pick of the Blues in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft, 48th overall. Bob played on the point for the Blues from 1973-74 to 1976-77. On May 27, 1977, at a postseason team party, Gassoff died from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. His number was never worn again in St. Louis.
Barclay Plager had his number 8 retired by the Blues in 1981. Plager was a career minor leaguer until NHL expansion in 1967-68. He was a fixture on the blue line for St. Louis from 1967-68 to 1976-77. Barclay retired due to the discovery of a brain tumour. He remained as an assistant coach with the Blues until his death in 1988.
Brian Sutter had his number 11 retired by St. Louis in 1988. Sutter was the first of six brothers that played in the NHL. He was a second round pick of the Blues in the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft, 20th overall. Brian played 779 regular season NHL games from 1976-77 to 1987-88, all with St. Louis. In 1991, Sutter was awarded the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL’s top coach while coaching the Blues.
Brett Hull had his number 16 retired by the Blues in 2006. Hull was overlooked by so many when he was chosen in the sixth round of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames, 117th overall. 1984 was the year that Mario Lemieux was chosen first overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Brett was played sparingly by the Flames for his first year before being traded to St. Louis. He played with the Blues from 1987-88 to 1997-98. He played in the NHL until 2005-06 with Dallas, Detroit and Phoenix.
The legend of Brett Hull was created in a five year span from 1989-90 to 1993-94. In those five years, Brett scored 72, 86, 70, 54 and 57 goals. He is one of just eight players to score 70 or more goals in a season and one of three to top 80 goals. Hull was part of two Stanley Cup winning teams, one in Dallas and the other in Detroit. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.
Bernie Federko had his number 24 retired by St. Louis in 1991. Perhaps one of the most underrated players in the history of the NHL, Federko was the seventh overall pick of the Blues at the 1976 NHL Draft. Bernie played from 1976-77 to 1988-89 with St. Louis then played one more season with the Detroit Red Wings before retiring.
Four times, Federko topped 100 points in a season. He is the Blues’ all-time leader in games played, assists and points. Bernie retired after exactly 1000 NHL regular season games. In that time, he totaled 1130 points. Federko entered the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.