Alright, so I’m going to fudge this just a little bit. I could not settle on just 10, so here are the ones that still deserve mentioning, but were not quite part of the 10 best.
This one will get me killed. Jaroslav Halak was one of the most, if not the biggest, divisive goaltenders in Blues history. You were either with him or completely against him. I was with him.
He never lived up to what we hoped he would be when the team acquired him from Montreal, but that doesn’t take away from what he did do. He is third on the all-time Blues list for shutouts with 20, trailing the top spot by only five. Halak also got to 20 in four seasons, which included an injury shortened year where he only played 16 games.
Halak is top 10 in Blues history in wins, save percentage, goals allowed and shutouts. Unfortunately, he was never healthy enough to see if he could replicate his Canadiens playoff success with the Blues.
Barret Jackman got so much hate toward the end of his career that it puts a sour taste on the entire thing. However, we forget just how good he was.
Jackman’s problem was always timing. He came up in the NHL playing a certain way, even won the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year and then the rules shifted on him and he never quite adapted.
Even so, he proved to be one of the better pure defenders the Blues had. He accomplished so much away from the puck.
Several Chicago Blackhawks, as well as other players in the league, hated having to play Jackman because they knew he would be on them like glue the entire game. Despite poor puck moving skills, he kept his turnover numbers fairly low compared to others in the league.
Jackman was a leader and an example of how to play hard. We all just got caught up in the flashy stuff while he was doing the dirty work.
He has been gone long enough now that we forget, but Kevin Shattenkirk actually played the bulk of his career with the St. Louis Blues. Parts of seven seasons in St. Louis and he was very good in all of them.
Even though he never hit 50 points in one season, Shattenkirk averaged about 50 points per year in St. Louis, if you take his points per game average and do the math. He scored just over a point every other game.
His downfall for the Blues was his defensive play was never going to live up to the money he wanted. The Blues want focus on defense first and then let the offense come off that.
Shattenkirk was never a great defender, so the points were not enough on their own. Even so, he was an integral part of some of the best teams the Blues had in that decade.
Ryan O’Reilly could very well go down as an all-time great St. Louis Blues player when his career ends. Plenty has to happen between now and then, including staying here the rest of his time in the NHL, but he’s off to a great start.
O’Reilly came in and automatically stated publicly that winning the Stanley Cup was the goal. He delivered with a Conn Smythe performance in the playoffs.
O’Reilly was just two goals shy of 30 and just three points shy of 80 during the 2018-19 regular season. He scored eight goals, including two game winners, and 23 points in the playoffs.
The little things he did helped the team in monumental ways. Just being professional and staying after practice to help guys like Robert Thomas on faceoffs had a huge impact.
He was a great teammate but also put up great numbers. If he had been with the team longer than just the one full season in the 2010’s, he would have made the top 10.
Like Jackman, Jay Bouwmeester became an easy target for the fans’ scorn. His problem was slightly different, but he got the same reaction.
Bouwmeester’s problem was he looked like he was going to be a big addition offensively. The skill was always there, but the team asked him to focus more on the defensive side and he did just that.
The offensive numbers went way down as he never surpassed 20 points other than his first full season in St. Louis. However, his attributes were elsewhere.
His point shares would never blow you away, but the fascinating thing was they were almost 100% based on defense. That means any offensive contribution to the team from Bouwmeester, as far as the stats were concerned, sprang from his defensive play. Say what you will about the guy, but for someone to generate all their point shares on the defensive end is impressive.
If nothing else, the eye test shows how good Bouwmeester was. While fans complained about this or that when he was out there, the team was a defensive shell of itself when he was out with injury. He was an invaluable player.
I tried really hard to include Brayden Schenn in the 10 best portion, but I had to trim him due to length of service. He still deserves mention because of his impact in a short time.
The pressure was never overwhelming, but the Blues brought Schenn in to essentially replace David Backes and Paul Stastny. Once those two were gone, the Blues had no top center and Schenn wanted to play up the middle.
He immediately rewarded the team with a 70 point season his first year here. While the numbers dropped a little after that, he has still averaged around 66 points per regular season with the Blues. In three seasons with the Blues, he is only 39 goals behind his entire total for six seasons spent in Philadelphia.
Schenn also proved to be adaptable. If the Blues need a spark, he will drop the gloves. If they need offense, he’ll do that. He can be physical, throwing 83 hits in 26 playoff games in 2019. Like O’Reilly, he’ll earn a top spot among the all-time Blues the longer he stays.
Jordan Binnington was a name I wrestled with. I wanted to put him in the top 10. I almost left him off completely.
He could have been left off completely because he was barely on the team. He did not get his first NHL start until January of 2019, meaning he only had a few months total in the decade.
However, what he did in those few months warranted a possible inclusion in the top 10. He won the Stanley Cup for crying out loud.
While his playoff stats took a dip, Blues fans know that Binnington was a gigantic reason the Blues have rings now. His Game 7 performance against Dallas and Boston alone were remarkable enough.
If he keeps up his pace, he’ll definitely be on the list for the 2020’s, but sneaking him into this list with under 100 games played is pretty good in its own right.