When Larry Robinson was born on June 2nd, 1951, the only President of the United States to be born in Missouri was enjoying some fresh renovations to the White House. Harry S. Truman would have eight successors before Bill Clinton took office, and there Clinton sat when Colton Parayko was born almost exactly 43 years later on May 12th, 1993.
And yet, despite the years, events, and generations which stretch between them, Parayko and Robinson now find themselves linked as members of the St. Louis Blues organization who are striving to push the team to its first championship.
Robinson, who on Thursday was named a Senior Consultant to Hockey Operations, is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and a nine-time Stanley Cup champion. The Blues’ entire current roster combines for three Cups, all belonging to former Pittsburgh Penguins Beau Bennett and Oskar Sundqvist.
Parayko, who said he doesn’t know anyone in San Jose who worked with Robinson, is well aware of what that experience can bring.
“It’s obviously pretty special for someone like me who’s still trying to learn a lot about the game,” Parayko said. “I’m looking forward to picking his brain about things.”
Though years have passed and the game has changed, Parayko doesn’t believe that those differences prevent Robinson from being an effective figure in the front office or when working with the team.
“I think the game has evolved,” he said, “but nine Stanley Cups is nine Stanley Cups. You can’t take that away from anyone.”
Adding an established figure in the hockey world to the front office adds another voice to a chorus which already includes Hall of Fame players Al MacInnis, Brett Hull, and soon, Martin Brodeur. With that group at the helm, it’s clear that the vision of the St. Louis Blues moving forward is to create a coalition of minds able to analyze, translate, and engage the game on every level.
The achievements of the newest member of the front office are the stuff of legend, and the Blues are eager to see those legends lived out in a new generation.
“What he’s achieved is pretty special,” said Parayko.
One day, Blues fans hope to be able to say the same about him.