The St. Louis Blues recently announced they will be wearing a heritage jersey for three games this year. Bring on the inclusion of red!
Since the St. Louis Blues current third jersey pays homage to the early years of the franchise, it only makes sense that the new heritage jersey came from a different era.
When it was announced that the heritage jersey would be the mid-nineties red jersey, fans around Blues nation celebrated and revolted.
There has not been a More polarizing jersey in franchise history then the red, sometimes called the clown jersey.
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Personally I think they look sharper today then they did in the nineties, but maybe that is just nostalgia kicking in.
With that nostalgia, I started thinking about all the great players for the Blues that wore that jersey.
After compiling a list in my head, I asked the staff a BleedinBlue to rank their top five players to don the new heritage jersey.
Todd Panula – Bleedin’ Blue Site Expert
Honorable mention – Pierre Turgeon and Curtis Joseph. Reason: both spent more time in and did more in other jerseys.
5. Grant Fuhr
There was a small number of goaltenders to wear what will now be the commemorative jersey for 2019-20. However, though he briefly wore the more current style, it was Grant Fuhr that will be best remembered wearing the multicolored sweater during his time in St. Louis.
Fuhr played in 79 out of 82 games in the regular season in his very first year with the Blues. He played in 73 games the following year.
Interestingly enough, Fuhr’s time in St. Louis was the only time in his illustrious career that his goals-against average was held below 3.00. His first two years in St. Louis were two of his top three career years in terms of saves too.
Also, I still contend the Blues would have beaten the Detroit Red Wings in the 1996 playoffs if Fuhr had not been injured.
4. Al MacInnis
It is hard to imagine the mighty Al MacInnis not being higher on this list for wearing the sweater, but it has as much to do with his longevity as anything. MacInnis spent slightly more time in the sweater worn at the turn of the century, even though he came to the Blues just as they were donning the horn on the shoulder.
MacInnis scored 57 goals and 181 points with these sweaters. It is impossible not to think of these jerseys with hockey’s version of Big Mac unleashing slap shot after slap shot.
It is only because he became captain, albeit briefly, and won the Norris trophy with a different jersey that he was not higher.
Courtnall might not have achieved the lofty standards in St. Louis he saw elsewhere, but his best years were in this jersey. Courtnall kept improving wearing this sweater too until injury derailed him.
His best season with the Blues was the final year these were the main jerseys, 1997-98. In that year he had 31 goals and 62 points.
The Courtnall that played in this sweater was exactly what you wanted from a winger that was not your top star in the 1990s. He was an agitator that got under people’s skin and could still produce on the offensive side.
2. Brett Hull
Really, the only reason Brett Hull is not tops on this list is he is not really remembered for wearing this jersey. Hull might have been the main model for it on its adoption, but Hull was remembered for bickering with Mike Keenan wearing this jersey.
His on-ice exploits were higher wearing the jersey style previous to this. That’s when we saw the 100-plus point seasons and the Hull and Oates pairing.
Nevertheless, Hull is still the team’s greatest player, and he wore these. He scored 141 goals and 287 points in these jerseys too.
Some will question my sanity for putting the Great One atop my list of the best to wear this jersey since he only spent 31 games in it. However, my basis is not solely due to the feats performed.
Look around the next time you go to a Blues game. Count how many of these types of jerseys you see and then count how many of those are Gretzky jerseys.
The guy was not even with the team for half a season, and you still see a large number of his jerseys in the arena today, some 20-plus years later. That is the power of being one of the all-time greats.
Even in his short stint, we remember Gretzky. He had a goal in his very first game with the Blues. He had 16 points in 13 playoff games that season. It is a shame most remember him for one poor pass against Detroit when we should not forget that Jon Casey should have saved that shot and overtime should have continued.
Regardless, when I think of these jerseys, I think of Gretzky. Part of that has to do with how bad the 99 looked on the back, but whatever. The point is, we remember it.
Joe Warden – Bleedin’ Blue Contributor
Honorable mentions: Pavol Demitra, Grant Fuhr, Kelly Chase, and Cujo
This guy was the epitome of a power forward. I loved watching him play. He was ferocious! A take no slack from nobody character with an offensive game that made you pay when you poked the hornets’ nest.
4. Al MacInnis
The Shot! The man could hit 100mph with a wooden stick! Imagine the velocity he would have with these composites today? YIKES!! Chopper was my favorite hockey player growing up. He could defend, quarterback the power play and had a blistering shot! He was a lead by example kind of guy, and that has always been the type of leader I have strove to be myself. Thanks, Chopper
Winning the Norris Trophy as a Blue and captaining arguably the best Blues team ever are just two reasons Chris Pronger is on my list. He is revered in the NHL as one of the most tenacious defenders ever.
2. Brett Hull
At number 4 all-time in goals scored in his career Brett Hull is and was the reason, Blues hockey was relevant during his tenure. All Blues fans know his name and revere his on-ice excellence.
1. Wayne Gretzky
Do I really need to explain why? Although the scapegoat for Mike Keenan, the Great one is the Great one and should never be left off any all-time list when he’s been a member.
Tyler Andrus – Bleedin’ Blue Contributor
Honorable Mention: Curtis Joseph, Pavol Demitra
5. Al MacInnis
He had more than 40 points as a defenseman in all three seasons. Collected 10.5 point shares in year one, 7.7 in year two, and 9.2 in year three.
4. Chris Pronger
Received Norris Trophy votes twice in the three seasons the Blues were in this uniform. He also had 7.3 defensive point shares in 1997-98.
3. Brett Hull
Brett Hull is an obvious choice for this list. He scored 40+ goals in multiple seasons in this jersey.
2. Grant Fuhr
He won more than 25 games in all three seasons. Played in more than 70 games two of the seasons and would’ve won us a cup if Nick Kypreos didn’t hurt him.
1. Wayne Gretzky
Even though Wayne had just 21 points in 18 regular-season games with the Blues, these jerseys are synonymous with the time the Great One spent under the Arch. I might add that he had 16 points in 13 playoff games with us too.
Christopher Griffith – Bleedin’ Blue Contributor
Honorable Mention: Chris Pronger, Geoff Courtnall, Brendan Shanahan, Curtis Joseph.
5. Grant Fuhr
Fuhr won four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers during the 1980s. During his time with St. Louis, he played over 73 games twice and a goals-against average below 2.87 in all four seasons
4. Al MacInnis
MacInnis had a shot that put fear into ever goaltender, and the player trying to block his shot. MacInnis not only had great offensive numbers, and even though he won a Norris Trophy with the Blues, I don’t think anyone ever thought about his defense.
3. Wayne Gretzky
Gretzky only played 18 regular-season games with the Blues, but no matter how few games he played with the Blues, he is still the Great One.
2. Pavol Demitra
Simple, in franchise history, Demitra is in the Top 10 in Goals, Assists, Points, Plus/Minus, Power Play Goals, and Game Winning Goals.
1. Brett Hull
For my generation, The Golden Brett is the St. Louis Blues. There was no one better finding open ice and unleashing a shot before anyone could react. Just like Demitra, Hull is at the top or near the top in most franchise categories.