ST. LOUIS (St. Louis Blues) updated – The St. Louis Blues will retire #5 in honor of Bob Plager prior to their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. Blues fans are encouraged to get to the game early as doors to Scottrade Center will open at 5:30 p.m. and the banner raising ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. Following the ceremony, the Blues and Maple Leafs will faceoff at 8 p.m.
Plager, who was acquired by the Blues on June 6, 1967 and has been with the organization for all 50 years, will become the seventh player in Blues history to have his number retired, joining #2 Al MacInnis, #3 Bob Gassoff, #11 Brian Sutter, #16 Brett Hull, #24 Bernie Federko, and his brother, #8 Barclay Plager.
The official banner raising ceremony will take place on Thursday, Feb. 2, when the Blues host the Toronto Maple Leafs.
A #5 banner, shadowed by a Blue heart, originally ascended to the rafters of Scottrade Center when the Blues honored Bobby for his franchise-long commitment and service to the team both on and off the ice. The original banner paid homage to one of Bobby’s favorite sayings, “number 5 in your programs, number 1 in your hearts.” The #5 jersey, however, was never officially retired and was most recently worn proudly by Barret Jackman. Now, the Blues will place Bobby Plager’s name and the official #5 banner in its proper position alongside the most legendary players in Blues history.
For 50 years, Bobby Plager has given himself completely and selflessly to the St. Louis Blues organization on and off the ice. As a player, he was known for his sturdy defensive play, his tenacious competitive spirit and his famous hip checks. He originally joined the Blues from the New York Rangers in 1967. In 10 seasons with the Blues, Bobby racked up 615 regular season games, 141 points and 762 penalty minutes. Bobby retired from the NHL following the 1977-78 season, and since, he has held several positions with the organization, including head coach, director of professional scouting and vice president and director of player development. Bobby also served as head coach of the Peoria Rivermen during the 1990-91 season and captured the 1991 Turner Cup.
Throughout his career, Bobby has been an ambassador for not only St. Louis and the Blues, but for the NHL and the game of hockey as a whole. At the dawn of the franchise, he was responsible for developing the identity of the Blues on the ice and for half a century he has helped cultivate an unbreakable bond between the team and the St. Louis community. Today, he continues to represent the organization with unwavering pride and passion, showing players and fans alike what it means to be a Blue.
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