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. St. Louis was the last of the six expansion teams to gain entry into the League; the market was chosen over Baltimore at the insistence of the Chicago Black Hawks. The Black Hawks' owners, James D. Norris and Arthur Wirtz, also owned the decrepit St. Louis Arena. They sought to unload the arena, which had not been well-maintained since the 1940s, and thus pressed the NHL to give the franchise to St. Louis, which had not submitted a formal expansion bid. NHL president Clarence Campbell said during the 1967 expansion meetings, "We want a team in St. Louis because of the city's geographical location and the fact that it has an adequate building."
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The Stanley Cup was in the building on Sunday night as the Blues hosted the Bruins for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in St. Louis. But it wasn't meant to be as the Bruins won, 5-1 to force Game 7. Now, both teams will have a chance to win it all back in Boston on Wednesday.
This has been out for a bit, but we were avoiding jinxes.
The Blues were originally coached by Lynn Patrick, who resigned in late November after recording a 4132 record. He was replaced by assistant coach Scotty Bowman, who thereafter led the team to a winning record for the rest of the season. 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 Stanley Cup Finals in each of their first three seasons, though they were swept first by the Montreal Canadiens in 1968 and 1969, then by the Boston Bruins in 1970.
The Blues play in the 19,150 (not counting standing room) capacity Enterprise Center, where they have played since 1994. The arena was previously known as Scottrade Center, the Savvis Center, and before that as the Kiel Center. The team played in the St. Louis Arena (known as The Checkerdome from 1977 until 1983), where the old St. Louis Eagles played, and which the original owners had to buy as a condition of the 1967 NHL expansion.
The Bruins also havent played a game since May 16, and when the puck drops for Game 1, theyll have to shake off 11 days of rust. The rest certainly doesnt hurt at this point of the season, but the Blues will have a much more normal turnaround. This has the makings of a series that could go seven games, but well say the Blues end it on home ice in Game 6.
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Following the disappointing 200506 season, which saw the Blues with the worst record in the NHL, the new management focused on rebuilding the franchise. Under new management, the Blues promptly installed John Davidson as president of hockey operations, moving Pleau to a mostly advisory role. The former New York Rangers goaltender promptly made multiple blockbuster deals, picking up Jay McKee, Bill Guerin and Manny Legace from free agency, and bringing Doug Weight back to St. Louis after a brief (and productive) stopover in Carolina. Weight was again traded in December 2007 to the Anaheim Ducks, along with a minor league player, in exchange for Andy McDonald. At the beginning of the 200607 season, the Blues looked to be competitive in the Central Division. However, injuries plagued the team all season, and the lack of a bona fide scorer hampered them as well. Fan support was sluggish during the first half of the campaign, and the end of the calendar year was capped by an 11-game losing streak. On December 11, 2006, the Blues fired head coach Mike Kitchen and replaced him with former Los Angeles Kings head coach Andy Murray. Davidson also installed a strong development program under head scout Jarmo Kekalainen, using the team's raft of high draft picks in 2006 and 2007 to select highly touted prospects such as T. J. Oshie, Erik Johnson and David Perron. On January 4, 2007, the Blues had a record of 613 in their previous ten games, which was the best in the NHL during that stretch. Despite a healthy 24-point jump from the previous season, the strain of playing in a conference where seven teams finished with more than 100 points kept them out of the playoffs for the second year in a row.
The team's first owners were insurance tycoon Sid Salomon Jr., his son, Sid Salomon III, and Robert L. Wolfson, who were granted the franchise in 1966. Sid Salomon III convinced his initially wary father to make a bid for the team. Former St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial and Musial's business partner Julius "Biggie" Garagnani were also members of the 16-man investment group that made the initial formal application for the franchise. Garagnani would never see the Blues franchise take the ice, as he died from a heart attack on June 19, 1967, less than three months before the Blues played their first preseason game. Upon acquiring the franchise in 1966, Salomon then spent several million dollars on extensive renovations for the 38-year-old arena, which increased the number of seats from 12,000 to 15,000.
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In Bostons two previous runs to the final in 2011 and 2013 Krejci combined for 49 points in 47 games. In all other playoff seasons he combined for 38 points in 61 games. Having a healthy, productive Krejci has been an underrated X-Factor in past Boston successes.
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As recently as January, the Blues were in last place in the NHL standings. Despite being the worst of 31 teams to that point of the season, the Blues managed to turn things around and play more like the playoff contender most people predicted entering the season. Theyre scoring timely goals, playing with a strong combination of speed and physicality, and getting good goaltending.
9:12 - Tuukka Rask comes up big against Tyler Bozak after the St. Louis center is given a point-blank opportunity.
On March 17, 2011, it was announced that the St. Louis Blues were for sale. During the 2011 NHL off-season, the team signed many key free agents, including Brian Elliott, Scott Nichol, Kent Huskins, Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner. They fired their head coach, Davis Payne, and named Ken Hitchcock as his replacement on November 6, 2011. David Backes was also announced as the new team captain.
During the 2018 NHL off-season, the Blues acquired forward Ryan O'Reilly from the Buffalo Sabres via trade and re-signed Perron to a third stint with the team in free agency, while also signing forwards Tyler Bozak and Pat Maroon and goaltender Chad Johnson. On November 19, 2018, the Blues fired head coach Mike Yeo after starting the season with a 793 record and replaced him with Craig Berube on an interim basis. On March 29, 2019, the Blues became the seventh team in NHL since the 196768 season to qualify for the playoffs after being placed last after January 1. On May 21, the Blues advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1970, defeating the San Jose Sharks in a six-game Western Conference Finals' series. On May 29, the Blues won a Stanley Cup Finals series' game for the first time in franchise history after getting swept in three previous series (19681970), when they defeated the Boston Bruins 32 in overtime.
Power play: SeasonBruins 25.9% (third); Blues 21.1% (10th). PlayoffsBruins 34% (first); Blues 19.4% (ninth).
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From 1979 to 1981, the radio and television broadcasts were separated for the first time since the inaugural season, with Kelly doing the radio broadcasts and Eli Gold hired to do the television. Following the 198081 season, the television broadcasts moved from KDNL to NBC affiliate KSD-TV for the 198182 season, produced by Sports Network Incorporated (SNI), owned and operated by Greg Maracek who did the broadcasts with Channel 5 sportscaster Ron Jacober. The broadcasts failed to produce a profit and then returned to KPLR for the 1982 NHL playoffs and the 198283 season before returning to KDNL (currently St. Louis' ABC affiliate) for the 198384 season, the first under the ownership of Harry Ornest. The Blues skated back to KPLR 3 years later.
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