Blasting his way to #4: Al MacInnis
Al MacInnis spent 11 seasons with the Calgary Flames before joining the St. Louis Blues in 1994. MacInnis left the Flames as one of their leading scorers and best defensemen.
But after five years of little to no playoff success, the Flames and MacInnis decided to part ways. MacInnis signed an offer sheet with the Blues and when the Flames failed to match it, the Blues sent Phil Housley and two second round picks to Calgary as compensation.
His first season in St. Louis was less than ideal, though, as MacInnis battled injuries to his shoulder and pneumonia and was limited to 32 games that season.
MacInnis returned to play a full season the following year and put up 61 points that season, his third highest total in St. Louis. MacInnis would go on to put up 452 points in his ten seasons with the Blues, which places him sixth in team history.
On April 7, 1998 against rival Detroit, MacInnis scored his 1,000th point in his career. MacInnis would also win the Norris Trophy that season as the top defensemen in the league. MacInnis had faced many years of disappointment when it came to that trophy as he was up against players like Nik Lidstrom, Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, Chris Chelios, Rob Blake and Brian Leetch.
Early in the 2000 season, Al put up four assists in a game against Nashville to set the Blues franchise record for scoring by defensemen.
Unfortunately, due to an eye injury and the NHL lockout, MacInnis was forced to retire from the game he loved. At the time of his retirement, MacInnis was ranked third all time in goals, assists, and points by a defensemen.
Al stayed on with the Blues after the lockout in the marketing and hockey operations department and has since been promoted to Vice President of Hockey Operations.
The Blues retired Al’s #2 jersey on April 9th, 2006 and in 2007 Al got the call to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
MacInnis was known for his heavy accurate shot and he won multiple Hardest Shot competitions at the All Star Game. There are many instances of how hard his shot was including a game against St. Louis where he split the mask of goalie Mike Liut(the puck also went).
MacInnis’s shot was one of the most feared in the game but his game play and vision won him the respect of players league wide.
Al had two great careers, one in Calgary and one in St. Louis, and fans should count themselves lucky to have seen such a gentlemen play this game.