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St. Louis Blues

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The St. Louis Blues play in the Central Division of the Western Conference.

The team is named after the famous W. C. Handy song “St. Louis Blues,” and plays in the 19,150-seat Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis.

The Blues were one of the six teams added to the NHL in the 1967 expansion, along with the Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and California Seals.

The Blues were originally coached by Lynn Patrick who, after a quick resignation, was replaced by Scotty Bowman. Although the league’s rules effectively kept star players with the Original Six teams, the Blues managed to stand out in the inferior Western Division. Capitalizing on a playoff format that required an expansion team to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Blues reached the final round each of their first three seasons, though they were swept first by the Montreal Canadiens in 1968 and 1969 and then by the Boston Bruins in 1970.

After 1970, the Blues wouldn’t return to the Stanley Cup Finals again. The 1970′s and 1980′s produced marginal success but the farthest the Blues would get would be the Conference Finals in 1985-86.

St. Louis kept chugging along through the late 1980s and early 1990s. General manager Ron Caron made astute moves, landing forwards Brett Hull, Adam Oates, and Brendan Shanahan, defenseman Al MacInnis, and goaltender Curtis Joseph among others. While the Blues contended during this time period, they never passed the second round of the playoffs. Still, their on-ice success was enough for a consortium of 19 companies to buy the team. They also provided the capital to build the Kiel Center (now the Scottrade Center), which opened in 1994.

Brett Hull became one of the league’s top superstars and a scoring sensation, netting 86 goals in 1990–91 en route to earning the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. Despite posting the second-best regular-season record in the entire league in 1990–91, the Blues lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Minnesota North Stars, a defeat that was symbolic of St. Louis’ playoff struggles.

Defensemen Chris Pronger (acquired from the Hartford Whalers in 1995 for Shanahan), Pavol Demitra, Pierre Turgeon, Al MacInnis, and goalie Roman Turek kept the Blues a contender. In 1999–2000, they notched a franchise-record 114 points during the regular season, earning the Presidents’ Trophy for the league’s best record. However, they 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 eventual Champions Colorado Avalanche. They remained competitive for the next three years, but never got past the second round.

Despite making the playoffs for 24 consecutive seasons from 1980 to 2004, it’s success in the playoffs that’s needed. After 5 years the blues returned to the playoffs in 2008-09, only to be swept by the Vancouver Canucks in the first round.

If the St. Louis Blues are going to be a contender in the Western Conference this coming season, they’ll need another strong performance from goaltender Chris mason and sniper Brad Boyes.

1st Round Draft Picks

Franchise Scoring Leaders
Year # Player Player
G
A
Pts
2009 17 David Rundblad Bernie Federko
352
721
1,073
2008 4 Alex Pietrangelo
Brett Hull
527
409
936
2007 13 Lars Eller Brian Sutter
303
333
636
2007 18 Ian Cole Garry Unger
292
283
575
2007 26 David Perron Pavol Demitra
204
289
493
2006 1 Erik Johnson Al MacInnis
127
325
452
2006 25 Patrik Berglund Red Berenson
172
240
412
2005 24 T.J. Oshie Chris Pronger
84
272
356
2004 17 Marek Schwarz Pierre Turgeon
134
221
355
2003 30 Sawn Belle Doug Gilmour
149
205
354