It’s easy to forget that some men played for the St. Louis Blues, perhaps even in the entire NHL. A well known coach fits that bill quite well.
The St. Louis Blues have quite a long list of great players to pull on their sweater. All-Stars, Hall of Fame players and even a handful of all-time greats.
On the flip side of that, there are players that we still know today but maybe forgot played for the Blues. Sometimes they made their name with another team or, in this case, made their name in a different form of employment.
Sports is one of those things that some can just do for a few years and give up and others are “lifers”. Some just cannot get away from the game.
Alain Vigneault is one of those men.
Most people know Vigneault as a coach, and a successful one at that. He has guided four different NHL squads and found a winning touch, to varying degrees, with all of them.
Vigneault helped lead both the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers to Stanley Cup Final berths. He guided the Montreal Canadiens to a conference semifinal and his current team, the Philadelpia Flyers, were one of the hottest teams in the NHL prior to the pandemic. He still saw them into the second round of the playoffs.
As a player, he could not find the same amount of success. While Vigneault got three seasons as a professional player, he only saw action in 42 NHL games spread across two seasons.
Vigneault was drafted by the Blues in 1981. Despite the fact he was an eighth-round selection, 167 overall, Vigneault was called up to St. Louis during the 1981-82 season.
In 14 games, he had one goal and three points. Not the most to write home about, but seemingly something to build upon.
It didn’t take Vigneault long to score his first goal either, picking it up fairly early in the season.
— Mike Commito (@mikecommito) October 18, 2020
Despite playing in twice as many games the following season, Vigneault only managed one extra assist. He would total one goal and four points that year.
He did manage to make the playoff roster with the Blues though. In four games, he picked up an assist, so he did get a playoff stat.
More often than not, great coaches were not the most remembered players. Vigneault fits that category.
Nevertheless, he can say he made it, even if it was only briefly. His greater mark will be that of leading players instead of being one, but even if many don’t remember, he’ll always be a Blue.