This past weekend, the St. Louis Blues unveiled their brand new third jerseys, an old school throwback that should please the folks who loved the Winter Classic uniforms worn last year.
After the ceremony, the newest members of the Blues were greeted by franchise legend, Bob Plager. It was something else to see Plager hand the new threads to Ryan O’Reilly, Pat Maroon, Chad Johnson, and even third-time returnee David Perron.
Upon handing the jersey to O’Reilly, Plager uttered, “These are the boys that are getting me my parade.”
Take that to heart, Blues. The old man has spoken and he has dished out a demand.
I’ll make this short and sweet for the late-summer short-attention-span crowd. The Blues need to cut the shit and win a Cup for Plager. I know the “win it for this guy” anthems annoy some people, but quite frankly, those are the people who need more love, bacon, and beer in their life.
Plager is 75 years old, and he has been a part of this organization since the very beginning. He played for the Blues from 1967-78, but he never left. The man may have hung up the skates before I was born, but his heart has never left the organization. He’s a Blues lifer, and someone who embodies all that is noble, cool, and inspiring about St. Louis hockey.
He was a solid hockey player, often throwing his body weight around like a hammer on the ice, scoring 20 goals and 760 penalty minutes during his career. But it’s the selflessness off the ice that has set Plager apart from other retired players.
If you see him at the Enterprise Center, he will stop, sign something, talk to you, and make you feel like a member of the family. He’s the friendly neighbor on the street who would ask you to come in from the cold for a bowl of hot soup and a story about the good old days. When I was covering the game last year and found myself walking around the concourse, I ran into Bob. We talked, took a picture, and it was seamless.
He’s not making an outlandish statement when he thinks the new Blues will help bring the city their first Cup. Doug Armstrong made these moves not as a gesture of good will to diehard fans or a way to create more dollars for the team. While both of those may be true, the real reason was to take a legitimate shot at the Cup. The moves made were surefire sparks that point to a deep Cup run either this year or next.
Plager can feel it just like the rest of us. You can stay quiet and wait for results, but as I wrote last week, there’s a new feeling downtown about this team. A new energy that can’t be denied. Plager feels it.
I’ll put on my Glengarry Glen Ross hat and just say this. Put the fucking coffee down and go win a Cup for Bob. Always be closing, because there are no more excuses. The Blues have went home with the boring set of steak knives far too many times in my lifetime, celebrating tiny accomplishments like outlasting the Chicago Blackhawks instead of outlasting the rest of the NHL. I’m tired of it, and quietly, so is Bob.
He may live another 5-10 years, but don’t wait that long. If there’s one guy who should shout, “please win one before I die,” it’s Bob.
Get it done, Blues. You got the depth, the muscle, and the brains. Go win one.
not sorry if this post didn’t contain any War on Ice statistics, breaking news, information that could inflate a Twitter handle, or something innovative.
I just wanted to say something about a legend in this town.
Thanks for reading,