Wayne Gretzky has an odd place in Blues history. We all know him as one of, if not the greatest player to play the game.
So, there are still Blues fans, including myself, that jump at the chance to mention his small part in Blues history. On the flip side, it was a mere blip in the history of both the team and the player.
Gretzky only played three months in a Blues uniform before he was basically forced out by the team’s foolish willingness to keep Mike Keenan. We also tend to focus on the turnover too.
In a heated series against the Detroit Red Wings, the Blues were in overtime in Detroit. It was a Gretzky turnover at the attacking blue line that gave the puck to Steve Yzerman, who went down and fired it past Jon Casey. Personally, I blame Casey for that, but you would expect a little better from the best player ever.
That said, we forget how good he actually was in his brief time here. In 18 regular season games with the Blues, the Great One had eight goals and 21 points.
Gretzky was solid in the playoffs too. While we remember that final moment with the turnover, we forget that he was more than a point per game scorer in the postseason with St. Louis.
Gretzky only had two goals that playoff run, but both of them came in wins in the Detroit series. He had 16 points in 13 games during that playoff season too.
Gretzky was instrumental in guiding the Blues past Toronto in the first round of the playoffs. He had three assists in two different games against the Maple Leafs. That became even more important once the Leafs injured Grant Fuhr and offense became even more of a focal point.
That postseason may not have been vintage Great One, but we got to see flashes. It was enough to whet our appetite for what the combination of Gretzky and Brett Hull could do.
Unfortunately, we never got to see that come to fruition. Even so, Gretzky was better than most on the Blues, leading all scorers in points. It is a shame we mainly remember him for a bad thing.