St. Louis Blues: The 15 Best Players in Blues History
The Blues were part of the 1967 NHL franchise expansion—one of six teams known as the Expansion Six.
The team went to the Stanley Cup Finals in its first three seasons, but was swept in all three series.
Since those seasons, the Blues have had many accomplishments.
The Blues have had six numbers retired, three more honored by the club, and 16 Hall of Famers. The Blues went on a streak of 25 straight playoff appearances, but have nothing to show for it.
But the Blues have had some great players wear the Bluenote on their chest.
Some were unsung heroes of the franchise, and others were recognized on the national stage. But whatever the case may be, these are the top 15 players ever to wear a Blues sweater.
15. Pierre Turgeon
Pierre Turgeon came to St. Louis from Montreal in a trade early in the 1996-1997 season. He played five seasons in St. Louis, and he made those seasons count.
Turgeon eclipses the top 10 for St. Louis, placing tenth in points with 355; ninth in game-winning goals with 25; sixth in playoff points with 45; and sixth in playoff assists with 31, despite being 45th on games played with the club.
Turgeon was able to contribute so well because of his line mates. While playing in St. Louis, it was regular for Turgeon to be playing with Brett Hull, Pavol Demitra, Al MacInnis and Chris Pronger. During his time with the club, Turgeon was privileged to be an assistant captain, but was never a captain.
Turgeon did not spend a significant amount of time with St. Louis, but definitely made an impact while he was there.
14. Grant Fuhr
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Grant Fuhr signed with the Blues before the 1995-1996 season as a proven veteran. He played four seasons with the Blues.
Fuhr was leaving the prime of his career, but still performed like the All-Star and Stanley Cup champion he was.
In the history of Blues goaltenders, Fuhr places third in games played (249); third in wins (108); fifth in shutouts (11); fourth in assists (5), and third in minutes played (14,094).
Fuhr also holds the record for most consecutive games played (76) and most games played in a single season (79), both of which were in the 1995-1996 season.
Fuhr signed with St. Louis, and as a result, Curtis Joseph was traded.
Fuhr was a backstop to a young defense that included Blues greats such as Al Macinnis and Chris Pronger. His experience allowed for the Blues to make the Blues all four postseasons, but the team never made it to the Conference Finals.
Fuhr played only one more season after leaving St. Louis before calling it quits, but he was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2003. He was a warrior for the Blues, and is among the top 15 Blues.
13. Red Berenson
The Blues acquired Red Berenson from the New York Rangers seven weeks into the 1967 season, and became the first great star for the Blues.
Berenson led the Blues to three Stanley Cup Final appearances in the franchise's first three years, and was named the Western Division's best player by The Sporting News. Berenson had two stints with the Blues, but in his time with the team, he was always an impact player.
Berenson is eighth in assists for St. Louis with 240; seventh in hat tricks with five; fifth in game-winning goals with 29; second in game-tying goals with 19; eighth in power play goals with 53, and fourth in playoff goals with 21.
But Berenson's best feat as a Blue was scoring six goals on November 7, 1968, against the Philadelphia Flyers in Philadelphia. Berenson became the first player in NHL history to score six goals in a road game, and was only one goal away from tying the NHL record for goals in a game.
Berenson set the tone for the St. Louis Blues and the franchise as a whole. he was the first great star for the Blues, and is one of the best players in Blues history.
12. Curtis Joseph
Curtis Joseph is possibly the greatest goaltender never to win a Stanley Cup.
Joseph came into the Blues' organization through the Peoria Rivermen, and found his way to the Blues in the 1989-1990 season. Once he was there, he was there to stay.
Joseph played six seasons with the Blues, amassing 15,987 minutes, good for second overall. Joseph is second in games played (280), second in wins (137), and first in assists (17).
What makes Joseph great is that all of these numbers were in his first six seasons in the NHL. Joseph put up even better numbers in his prime. Because of his play, Joseph is a lock to be in the Hall of Fame.
Joseph has the most wins (454) for a goaltender to never win the Stanley Cup. He had a career worthy of the Hall of Fame. He is the second best goaltender in Blues history, and the 12th best player in Blues history.
11. Adam Oates
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Adam Oates may be the new head coach for the Washington Capitals, but he also made a huge mark in his stint in St. Louis.
Oates was traded to St. Louis from rival Detroit Red Wings, and is regarded as the worst trade for the Red Wings. Oates became the center for Brett Hull, and the two became the most prolific combination in the NHL at the time.
During his very brief two-and-a-half seasons with the Blues, Oates played 195 games, while putting up 286 points, a 1.46 points per game average. Hull also benefited from this combination, putting up 72 and 86 goals in those two seasons, respectively.
During his time Oates was also seen as a leader on the team, and was named assistant captain.
Oates left the Blues disgruntled because of contract talks, but Oates was still one of the most prolific scorer in his stint with the Blues. His performance definitely earned him his spot on the top 15 Blues.
10. Barclay Plager
Barclay Plager was the other part of the deal that brought Red Berenson over to St. Louis, and he too was one of the first major stars in St. Louis.
Plager was the original leader of the blue line for the Blues. He led the defense to the fewest goals allowed in 1969, second-fewest in 1970, and third-fewest in 1971. While he did not put up major offensive numbers, Plager did have his fair share of penalties. Plager is third on the Blues all-time penalty minutes with 1,115 minutes.
Plager was named captain for the Blues in 1972, and served as captain for five years. Because of this and his tenure with the Blues, the Blues retired his number.
Plager was the original star on the blue line for the Blues, and cracks the top 10 in the Blues best players.
9. Keith Tkachuk
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Tkachuk came to the Blues via trade, and in the final twelve games of the 2000-2001 season, scored six goals and eight points. He was a part of the leadership that led the Blues to the Conference Finals against eventual Champion Colorado Avalanche.
Tkachuk continued his success with the Blues, finishing seventh in points in Blues history with 427; fifth in goals with 208; seventh in game-winning goals with 29, and fourth in power-play goals with 96. During his time with the Blues, Tkachuk also scored his 500th NHL goal and 1,000th NHL point.
Tkachuk has been elected into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, and is projected to be enshrined in Toronto when eligible. Tkachuk battled injuries throughout his later years in the NHL, and still gave everything he had to the Blues.
Tkachuk was and is a fan favorite, and is easily an inclusion to the top Blues players.
8. Pavol Demitra
Pavol Demitra was one of the greatest unsung heroes on the Blues, and one of the best two-way players in Blues history.
Demitra came into the NHL for just eight games in the 1996-1997 season, and stayed with the team into the playoffs. After his playoff appearance, he was with the club to stay.
Demitra played eight seasons with the Blues, and had his best statistical season in his career with the Blues in 2002-2003 when he put up 93 points. In his career with the Blues, Demitra ranks fifth in points with 493; sixth in goals with 204; fifth in points with 289; eighth in hat tricks with three; second in game-winning goals with 45, and seventh in power-play goals with 63.
Demitra is also eighth in playoff points (43), eighth in playoff goals (18), and ninth in playoff assists (29).
Demitra was never graced with wearing the C for the Blues, but his number is honored by the Blues. Players turned to Demitra to fill the void left by Hull, and Demitra performed.
Demitra is No. 8 on the best Blues players in history, and he had heart that no one could match.
He is a player that is dearly missed not only in St. Louis, but also around the world.
7. Mike Liut
Mike Liut may not be the most recognizable name amongst goaltenders, but he is the best goaltender the Blues have had.
Liut started his career with the Blues, and stayed with the club for six seasons. Over those six seasons, he became the best goaltender in Blues history.
Liut is first in games played (347); wins (151); minutes (20,010); second in assists (seven), and eighth in shutouts (10). In 1980-1981, only his second season with the Blues, Liut finished second for the Hart Trophy—the league's MVP—behind Wayne Gretzky. Liut did win the Lester B. Pearson, which is awarded to the MVP voted on by NHL players.
Liut posted the best goals against average in 1979-1980, his first season with the Blues, and never looked back. He is the leader of numerous goaltending categories for the Blues, and is thus the best goalie in Blues history, and the seventh-best player overall.
6. Chris Pronger
Chris Pronger manned the blue line for the Blues for nine seasons and is one of the longest-tenured captains in Blues history.
Pronger came to the Blues two years into his career, and the Blues reaped the benefits of a player in his prime. Pronger was paired up with veteran defenseman Al MacInnis, and learned leadership from him.
Over the course of his career, Pronger amassed 356 points as a Blue (ninth), and 931 penalty minutes (fourth), while playing in 598 games (ninth).
Pronger is known as being a pest and somewhat of a dirty player, but he was the undeniable leader of the Blues.
He led the team to their best finish in history in 1999-2000, earning the Presidents' Trophy; but he failed to lift the Cup with the Blues.
Pronger led the surge in one of the greatest times in Blues history, and just misses out of being in the top five.
5. Al MacInnis
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Al MacInnis may have been the assistant captain during Pronger's tenure, but he was the better player.
MacInnis spent the majority of his career with the Calgary Flames, earning a Stanley Cup ring in 1989 and winning the Conn Smythe trophy. But MacInnis is more well known for his ten seasons in St. Louis.
MacInnis was put on the top line with Pronger, and was the anchor. MacInnis had a wicked slap shot that goalies would absolutely hate to stop. MacInnis had hockey smarts along with a natural goal-scoring ability (due to his shot).
In his ten seasons with the Blues, MacInnis finished seventh in games played with 613; sixth in points with 652; fourth in assists with 325, and sixth in power play goals with 64. MacInnis also won the Norris Trophy awarded to the league's best defenseman, in 1999.
MacInnis has had his number retired by the Blues, and he is a member of the Hall of Fame. MacInnis spent the rest of his career with the Blues, and is the best defenseman in Blues' history.
4. Garry Unger
Garry Unger was a part of the Blues' system for nine years, and was another big name during the Expansion Six era of Blues' history.
Unger is near the top of nearly every statistical category that the Blues have. He is fourth in games played (662); fourth in points (575); fourth in goals (292); sixth in assists (283); third in hat tricks (seven); third in game-winning goals (40); first in game-tying goals (19), and fifth in power play goals (86).
At the time of his retirement, Unger also had the longest "consecutive games played" streak with 914 (spanning four different teams and 11 years).
Unger was arguably the best player to come out of the Expansion Six era, and is among the greatest of Blues greats.
3. Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter was drafted by the Blues in the 1976 NHL draft. The team brought Sutter into the big leagues for the 1976-1977 season, where he became one of the best Blues' players in history.
Sutter played wing for the Blues. He played twelve seasons with them, and is on the leader boards for nearly every category.
Sutter is third in points (636); goals (303); assists (333); power play goals (107); second in games played (779); first in penalty minutes (1,786); fourth in hat tricks (seven); fourth in game-tying goals (11), and sixth in game-winning goals (29).
Sutter was forced to retire early because of a back injury that plagued him for the last part of his career. His number has been retired by the Blues since 1988, which was the same year that he retired.
Sutter played every single season with the Blues, and has his number hanging from the rafters of Scottrade Center.
Sutter is the longest-tenured captain in Blues' history.
He is one of the best to ever wear the Bluenote, period.
2. Brett Hull
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Brett Hull is a truly fantastic player, and is the most famous player ever to wear the Bluenote. But he is not the best.
Hull originally started out in Calgary, but was traded to St. Louis in the 1987-1988 season. Hull would spend the next 11 seasons with the Blues, and go through his prime in St. Louis. Hull put up numbers some players can only dream of.
Hull went on a statistical show while in St. Louis. He finished first in goals (527); hat tricks (27); game-winning goals (70), and power play goals (195). His playoff play was great too: 137 points (first), with 67 goals (first), and 50 assists (second).
Hull also saw success off the ice. During his time as a Blue, the youth hockey movement in St. Louis grew exponentially.
Because of his accomplishments, Hull's number was retired by the Blues, and he is a member of the Hall of Fame.
Hull could have been the best player in Blues history, but his inattention to defense and reliance on natural ability limited him. But Hull is definitely on the Mount Rushmore of St. Louis Blues players.
1. Bernie Federko
Bernie Federko is the best Blues player in history. For non-Blues fans, this may seem as a surprise. But for Blues fans, it's anything but.
Federko is the leader for nearly every major offensive category the Blues have. Federko is first in games played (927); points (1,073), and assists (721). He is second in goals (352); hat tricks (11); power-play goals (116), and fourth in game-winning goals (40).
Federko's playoff stats are just as impressive, as he is second in points (101), goals (35), and first in assists (66).
But what really makes Federko the best player in Blues' history is that he kept the team from moving to Saskatoon.
The Blues had been sold, and if the team continued to spiral downward, they would move. But because of the success that Federko and his teammates saw, the team went on a climb in the standings.
Federko was the best two-way player the Blues had, and he was awarded the captaincy in his last season as a Blue.
His number was retired by the Blues in 1991, and Federko was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2002.
Federko was a leader on the Blues, and he kept the team in St. Louis.
He gave everything he had to the team, and it showed in his play.
Those are the reasons why Bernie Federko is the best player in Blues history.