For most of their history the St. Louis Blues were known as a perennial playoff team that just couldn’t quite win the big one. That all changed in 2019 when the Blues won the organization’s very first Stanley Cup. As with every longstanding competitive team, they were not afraid to make changes to their roster in their hunt for Lord Stanley.
Number 5- Chris Osgood
Osgood is best known as a three-time Stanley Cup Winner with the Detroit Red Wings. When the Wings acquired Dominik Hasek in the summer of 2001, they left Osgood exposed to the waiver draft and he was claimed by the New York Islanders. Osgood formed a tandem with Garth Snow for the 2001-02 season, before he was pushed out of the rotation the following season by Rick Dipietro, and on March 11, 2003 he was dealt to the St. Louis Blues. Osgood’s presence calmed a goaltending carousel that was six players deep. He played nine games to finish out 2002-03 and 67 games the following season, but his lackluster playoff performance in both seasons forced the Blues to not re-sign him before the 2004-05 lockout took place.
Number 4- Bret Hedican
Bret Hedican had long stints with the Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers, and the Carolina Hurricanes, but his career started with the St. Louis Blues. Taken in the tenth round, 198th overall, in 1988, Bret Hedican had a notable career at St. Cloud State and represented Team USA at the 1992 Olympics before he debuted at the end of the 1991-92 season. He started 1992-93 in the AHL, but was quickly recalled by the Blues where he stayed for the next-season-and-a-half. At the 1994 trade deadline, Hedican was traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Craig Janney, whom St. Louis lost in a contract dispute arbitration a year prior. All in all, Hedican played 107 games in St. Louis, scoring 20 points in that time.
Number 3- Martin Havlat
A veteran on 788 games in the summer of 2015, Martin Havlat found himself without a team. He signed a professional tryout with the St. Louis Blues on October 27, and earned a one-year contract on November 9. After only two games with the Blues, Havlat injured his groin and was placed on unconditional waivers to terminate his contract. Havlat returned to his native Czech and worked out with a Czech Extraliga team with the intent on an NHL return, but after re-injuring his groin and failing to attract NHL interest, Havlat retired on February 8, 2017.
Number 2- Tom Barrasso
By the time 2002 rolled around, Tom Barrasso already had a Vezina Trophy, Jennings Trophy, and two Stanley Cups, and 771 NHL games to his resume. After suiting up 38 games the season previously split between the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs, Barrasso signed a one-year deal with the St. Louis Blues on November 1, 2002 for one last attempt to stick in the NHL. Barrasso was one of six goalies to suit up for the Blues during the 2002-03 season. He played in only six games recording a 3.28 goals against average and a .879 save percentage. At the end of the season, Barrasso signed a one day contract with Pittsburgh so he could retire a Penguin, the team where he had the most success.
Number 1- Valeri Bure
After long stints with the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames, injuries took their toll on the Russian right wing. His first stint with the Florida Panthers came to an end on March 11, 2003 when he was traded to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for defenseman Mike Van Ryn. A sprained ligament in his knee forced him to miss all but five of the remaining games in St. Louis. In the summer, Bure was placed on waivers by the Blues where he was reclaimed by the Florida Panthers.
Making the NHL on a full-time basis for the 1989-90 season after a legendary year at Michigan State, Rod Brind’Amour scored 26 goals and 61 points in 79 games during his rookie campaign. His sophomore season was slightly less successful with just 17 goals and 49 points. In the summer of 1991 he was involved in a large trade with the Philadephia Flyers where he, along with Dan Quinn, were shipped to the Flyers in exchange for Murray Baron and Ron Sutter. He would go on to play 19 more seasons split with the Flyers and the Hurricanes, the later of which he would win a Stanley Cup.
Podein had the most successful run of his NHL career with the Philadelphia Flyers in the late 1990’s, and later a run with the Colorado Avalanche in the early 2000’s where he won a Stanley Cup. On February 10, 2002 he was dealt from Colorado to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Mike Keane. Podein played the last 23 games of the 2001-02 season with the Blues as well as all of the 2002-03. He scored six goals and 16 points in 91 games in St. Louis. Podein was not re-signed by the Blues in the summer of 2003, and he opted to sign in Sweden for three more seasons before calling it a career in the summer of 2006.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: stlouis.cbslocal.com