St. Louis Blues Have Won The Cup Elsewhere, So What

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 07: T.J. Oshie #77 of the Washington Capitals hoists the Stanley Cup after the team's 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Five of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on June 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 07: T.J. Oshie #77 of the Washington Capitals hoists the Stanley Cup after the team's 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Five of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on June 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Blues have a history of sending players away and they end up winning the big one. It’s really not as big a deal as some make it to be though.

The St. Louis Blues have plenty of players that won hockey’s ultimate prize with a different team. It has become a running joke that you have to be dealt away from the Blues to win it all if you have not already.

In fact, the number is up to 39 players that wore the Note and went on to win the Stanley Cup afterward. That is an impressive number, if not dubious. In the end, who cares though?

Plenty of fans are very frustrated that the Blues have yet to win a championship. We are frustrated that several different ownership groups and a plethora of different general managers have not helped the team achieve the ultimate prize.

We can’t really live in the past though. It is unfair to hold today’s players, managers and owners to the standards – or lack thereof – of the past.

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Players win with other teams. It happens. Not every situation is the same, however.

Not every player that the Blues gave away were difference makers. Some of them were barely even a blip on the roster for the teams that did win the Cup.

However, because it makes for a good headline, we talk about how many players are former Blues and won later. It’s not that big a deal.

As mentioned, 39 players won a Cup after playing in St. Louis. How many can we point to and say they were the reason?

Brett Hull is the biggest that jumps to mind. Hull never got the pure numbers he did in St. Louis, but he scored the winning goal for Dallas the very season after he left. He then rubbed more salt in the wound by helping the hated Detroit Red Wings win two more.

Speaking of the Red Wings, you could include Brendan Shanahan in that group. He won three Cups with Detroit.

However, the Blues got Hall of Fame defender Chris Pronger as part of that trade. Pronger did help the Blues to a Western Conference Final, and who knows if Shanahan does the same or not. The reality is that Shanahan was a great player, but Detroit was so stacked, they may have won with or without him.

Doug Gilmour was another difference maker that St. Louis could have used. I’d loved to have seen a team with Bernie Federko, Gilmour and Hull all on the same roster, even if not the same lines. That one was messed up by personal issues behind the scenes, however.

Scott Stevens is the one that hurts me the most. I know the CBA was different back then, but the idea that the league could just take a player away for something as petty as tampering seems like something that could only happen to the Blues. I love Hull, Shanahan, Pronger and all those guys. I’d give up just about anything to have seen Stevens spend his career with the Blues though.

Rod Brind’Amour and Pronger were about the last guys you could say were true impact players for their respective championship teams. Both were captains or big time leaders and large reasons for their success.

If you really want, you can throw T.J. Oshie into that mix for his playoff performance.

Out of 39 names, that’s six or seven players. So, 32 other players were either along for the ride or role players at best.

Go down the list. The early names are all good players, but that team was in constant flux.

Wayne Merrick was a good player for New York, but he actually put up better numbers as a member of the Blues. Is there really a case to be made the Islanders juggernaut would not have won without him?

Joe Mullen was a good player, but by the time he won with Pittsburgh, he was pretty far down the lineup.  His numbers were great with Calgary though, so that one is a wash.

Ian Cole, Corey Stillman, Steve Duchesne and Rob Ramage were all role players for their respective teams. Dallas Drake, Doug Weight and Bill Guerin were let go almost specifically so they would have a chance to win.

Michael Handzus had almost nothing to do with Chicago winning. Guy Carbonneau was an afterthought in Dallas for most his time. Mike Zigomanis played two games as a Blue and is not listed by hockey-reference as a Cup winner.

Lars Eller played seven games with St. Louis. If someone knew that Todd Ewen was any part of that 1993 Montreal Canadiens winner, they would get the gold star of the day.

The bottom line is that it makes for good water-cooler talk that so many have won outside of St. Louis. The reality is that only a handful that left were actually the reason those teams won.

Most had little to nothing to do with those championship seasons. This entire narrative of people winning once they leave is tiring, even if I have taken part in the discussion in the past.

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Oshie was gone long enough that he can be taken out of the discussion. Even Shanahan was sent to Hartford, so it’s not as though they gave him to Detroit.

For all their faults, the Blues are not purposely sending players away. Whether we agree with the reasons or like them, there were usually legit reasons they parted with these players. It is mere coincidence that so many ended up with winning franchises.