PHOTOS: Remembering Bob Plager’s 2019 visit to South County


Photo by Erin Achenbach

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen meeting had some special guests in 2019, when the city presented St. Louis Blues mascot Louie and Bob Plager, one of the franchise’s first players, with a proclamation honoring the Blues and their Stanley Cup-winning season. ‘The whole city of Crestwood was pulling for you, the whole St. Louis region was pulling for you,’ said Mayor Grant Mabie, above left, as he presentedLouie and Plager with a copy of the proclamation at the Aug. 27 meeting.

By Erin Achenbach, Staff Reporter

St. Louisans are recalling decades of fond memories after St. Louis Blues hockey legend Bob Plager, 78, died last week.

Plager died Wednesday, March 24, when his vehicle collided with another vehicle on Interstate 64 (Highway 40) that afternoon. The St. Louis medical examiner said that Plager likely died from a cardiac event prior to the crash, and not from the crash itself.

Plager was one of the original members of the St. Louis Blues, transferring from the New York Rangers when the National Hockey League expanded in the 1967-1968 season. He played 11 seasons with the Blues and stayed involved with the organization long after his retirement from playing, including coaching the team for several games in 1992.

“Bobby liked to say he was No. 5 in our program, but No. 1 in our hearts,” the St. Louis Blues said in a statement. “Today, our hearts are broken, but one day they will be warmed again by memories of his character, humor and strong love for his family, our community, the St. Louis Blues and generations of fans who will miss him dearly.”

The Blues, who retired the Ontario native’s No. 5 jersey number in 2017, also said that the team would wear a jersey patch featuring Plager’s retired No. 5 surrounded by a blue heart for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season.

“Few men in the history of our game were more closely connected to a city and a franchise than Bob Plager was to St. Louis and the Blues. … Plager served the Blues in various capacities for … decades. Respected by fellow players for his toughness, he was beloved by teammates for his welcoming personality and formed a fierce bond with St. Louis fans that would last his entire life,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement. “The National Hockey League family mourns the tragic passing of a true St. Louis original.”

Following the Blues’ historic Stanley Cup win in 2019, Plager and Blue’s mascot, Louie, visited the city of Crestwood, where the team was honored by the Board of Aldermen with a proclamation for their Stanley Cup-winning season.