The St. Louis Blues always honor their past heroes as much as they can. The team found a rather interesting way to honor their most recent Hall of Fame player.
The St. Louis Blues just recently had another one of their ranks go into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Paul Kariya joined the prestigious group of former NHL players and coaches with a celebration in Toronto.
While the player had his moment on that special night, his time in the spotlight is not quite done. Whether through coincidence or not, the Blues are going to have Kariya show up for a marketer’s dream.
Kariya is going to drop the ceremonial puck before the Blues game on November 29. What is so special about that date?
Well, for bobblehead collectors, there will be a fancy new Jake Allen bobblehead released. That’s not what we’re talking about though.
The reason having Kariya come for that game is genius is because of the opponent. The Blues will be playing the Anaheim Ducks.
Again, whether this was planned out long in advance or just happened to work out timing-wise is not the point. The point is the Blues now have a chance to honor one of their former players while they play the team he spent most of his career with.
Kariya played nine seasons and over 600 games with Anaheim. Back then, they were named the Mighty Ducks.
Interestingly enough, the Blues actually had Kariya with them longer than any other team not named Anaheim. He played 168 games with the Note, which would have been much higher if he had not missed most of 2008-09 with an injury.
For those of you who do not know, apparently during their time in Nashville, Upshall told Kariya he wrote a book report on him when Upshall was in grade school. Needless to say hearing that kind of thing made Kariya feel quite old, even if he was only 30 at the time.
Given the way things ended – never getting to play in the postseason with the Blues – perhaps Kariya only saw the disappointment when his career ended. However, it’s nice to know upon reflection that he has come to peace with his career and his time in St. Louis.
“Thank-you to the St. Louis Blues,” Kariya said during his speech. “Thanks to Dave Checketts, John Davidson and Andy Murray for bringing me to the great hockey city of St. Louis and allowing me to finish my career with the Blues.”
Kariya is a stand-up guy, so it seems hard to believ he would not mention the Blues in his speech. Even so, the words he chose made it feel like he has had time to reflect and cherish his time in St. Louis.
So, now fans have a chance to show their own appreciation. I have no doubts that St. Louis will do itself proud on that night.
I’m sure Anaheim will have their own chance to honor Kariya in front of their own fans. Still, the marketers have now given St. Louis fans a chance to show the Ducks and the league that we can honor our own as well as any team, even if they did not make their name in St. Louis.