Even with all the big names to come through the St. Louis Blues doors over the years, only a select few made the All-Star team. Only a select few of those make our all-star roster of All-Star greats.
With the St. Louis Blues’ All-Star hosting duties in the rear view mirror and the season in full swing down the stretch, it occurred to look back one last time. With the game being hosted in St. Louis for the third time in franchise history, why not look at the best from the Note to play in that game?
The Blues have had their fair share of All-Stars. Some made their name prior to the Blues and some got bigger afterward, but all of them made the All-Star game while wearing the Blues sweater.
With that in mind, let’s look at the best team of All-Star players the Blues could assemble
Line one: Shanahan, Federko, Hull
Everyone in St. Louis has certain favorites based on when they grew up or when they began following the team. However, it would be hard to argue against this trio as the top line.
Bernie Federko remains Mr. Blues. He might not be the absolute most talented player to ever wear the Blues crest, but he’s still synonomous with St. Louis hockey.
Federko remains the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, assists and points. None of those categories are really even that close. He leads the games played by 124, the assist by a whopping 312 and the points by 137.
Amazingly, for all his talents, Federko only made the All-Star team twice.
Brendan Shanahan‘s time in St. Louis was brief in the grand scope of things, but he was a superb player.
In only four seasons with the Blues, one of which was a lockout shortened season, Shanahan still scored over 300 points. He ended his tenure with the Blues with a 69 point season, a 94 point season and a 102 point season in addition to having 41 points in 45 games. He had a total of 156 goals.
Shanahan only made the All-Star game once during his 102 point season, but it’s too hard to not put him on here.
Hull averaged more than a point per game over his career. He also averaged just over a goal every other game.
The Golden Brett made the All-Star team every year but once in his Blues career. That was a total of eight appearances, only missing his final year in St. Louis when he would still have 72 points but only 27 goals.
I was fortunate enough to grow up while Hull was in St. Louis. While I did not attend that many games growing up, you went to the game expecting him to score, not just hoping.
Line two: Unger, Berenson, Tarasenko
There is a strong argument to be made for putting Gary Unger on the top line. Even after all this time, Unger is still in the top ten in all four stats for the Blues – games played, goals, assists and points. He is top four in goals and points.
Unger spent nine seasons with the Blues in a career that spanned parts of three decades in total. He finished with 292 goals and over 500 points. Unger fell just short of Hull’s mark with seven All-Star appearances. Really, the only reason I slotted him on the second line was because Hull and Shanahan had chemistry together.
Red Berenson remains one of the best names in Blues history, along with his nickname of the Red Baron. Despite being a center, Berenson could score and ended his Blues career with 172 goals.
He played in St. Louis twice, once at the very beginning of the franchise and again in the mid-late 1970’s. Even at the end of his career, he could still score more than 20 goals per season. Berenson would end his Blues tenure with three All-Star appearances.
Last, but not least, we come to the modern-day scorer. Vladimir Tarasenko was billed as the next Hull and will almost surely fall short of those expectations, but he’s still a fantastic goal scorer.
At only 28, and with a few injury problems, Tarasenko is already top five in goals for the franchise. He also cracked the top 10 for total points.
Tarasenko made the All-Star game three years in a row. He could have made it four, but he had a poor start to the 2017-18 season, though he would still end up with over 30 goals by the end of the season.
Line three: Sutter, Oates, Demitra
The third line has an interesting makeup. It starts with one of the best leaders the St. Louis Blues ever had.
Brian Sutter was a no nonsense player and coach that had success at both, though not as much as he would have liked since his brother won some Stanley Cups. However, as a player, he was a model of consistency and toughness.
He had a 12-year career with the Blues and never really let up. He ended his career with over 300 goals and over 300 assists. Both those numbers keep him in the top 10 for goals assists and points. Sutter started at such a young age that only knee problems kept him from potentially being in the top 2 in most categories for the Blues. He was an All-Star on three occasions.
Adam Oates was only in St. Louis for a cup of coffee really. However, despite only two seasons in town, he was an unbelievable player and left an impact that we all still remember.
The Hull and Oates combination was unstoppable. Blues fans still wonder if they might have won a Stanley Cup earlier if that duo had been kept together longer, but we’ll never know.
Interestingly, Oates made the All-Star team twice in his two and a half seasons with the Blues. The odd thing is he actually was not voted in during his 102 point season in 1989-90, but did make it in during the season he was eventually traded away during.
Line four: Sabourin, Ryan O’Reilly, Tkachuk
Gary Sabourin is a name most younger fans have never heard of, including myself until you do the research. Most of that is due to him beginning his career with the Blues. Many of the big names fans of today know of actually played for other teams before coming to St. Louis.
Sabourin played his entire career with the Blues until he was traded to Toronto in 1974. Sabourin was acquired by the Blues from the New York Rangers in a deal that also brought Bob Plager and two others.
He ended his Blues career with 136 goals and 267 points. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but they’re pretty good for that era. Sabourin would take the ice in two All-Star games, including the one St. Louis hosted in 1970. The 1971 All-Star game featured both Sabourin and Tim Ecclestone, another player acquired in that Rangers deal.
Up the middle, we have one of the best centers the Blues have had in quite some time. You can’t compare Ryan O’Reilly to any of the great names in team history since he’s only been here one full season. However, based on pure talent, you can pool him in there with some of the biggies.
O’Reilly was one of the few consistent players offensively for a team that eventually found its way into last place during their Stanley Cup season of 2018-19. Even with a rough patch or two and struggling to feel at home in the locker room, he still managed 77 points that year.
O’Reilly has made two of his three All-Star appearances in the Blues uniform. He was the sole member of the organization to go in 2019 and was one of four Blues to represent the Central Division in the 2020 game in St. Louis.
Last, but definitely not least, you have the old-school power forward of Keith Tkachuk coming up the wing for the Blues. Tkachuk’s style would definitely fit in and compliment both of these other guys.
Like Sutter, Tkachuk was all business on the ice. He had great personality when the puck was not going, but between whistles he was a bulldog.
The elder Tkachuk spent nine seasons with the Blues and had over 200 goals and 427 points with the Blues alone.
Tkachuk made the All-Star game twice with the Blues. The first time was during his 71 point season of 2003-04. The second was strangely in 2008-09 when he ended the season with just 49 points, but he got off to a hot start for goals that year and the team was not great so he was their lone representative.
Even so, you give me this line based on pure heart, soul and leadership and they’ll get the job done.