A Man of the Community: Remembering Bobby Plager

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Plager played in a total of 615 games for the Blues

Max Williams, Staff Writer

Seeing a truly great sports star pass away is a heart-wrenching event that never fails to catch adoring fans off guard. Bobby Plager was a role model for many, as well as trailblazer for the St. Louis Blues hockey team, and on March 24 his death left many in mourning.

After a phenomenal life and hockey career, 78 year old Plager passed away last week on Wednesday shortly after being taken to the hospital from a car accident. Yet, despite the confusion that ensued directly after the crash, medical examinations have revealed that the late hockey player most likely died due to a heart condition rather than from the minor injuries that he sustained in the accident itself. Thankfully, the other vehicle that was involved in the wreck made it out with little to no injuries to the passengers inside, which sheds a small amount of relief on the situation, and describes the intensity of the accident.

However sad it may be, this tragic event allows for all citizens of the St. Louis area to join together and honor the incredible life of Plager. A lot can be accomplished in 78 years on Earth, and Plager managed to make a lasting impact on the sport of hockey during his 14 years in the NHL. Despite beginning his career with the New York Rangers, he made the trip to St. Louis and joined the brand new St. Louis Blues organization in 1967. For the rest of his career, he would make a living under the Gateway Arch racking up the seventh place amount of all-time appearances for the Blues, as of today, and spending a grand total of 762 minutes in the penalty box for the franchise.

However, his love for the sport did not end when he retired, because Plager went on to become the Blues’ Head Coach in 1992, and a Director of Professional Scouting for the organization in more recent years. Plager never could get enough of the sport, and fans all over the city were able to interact with him in a way that was different from other celebrities of the sports community.

“Every time, he shook my hand, signed hats, did whatever. I just wanted to pay my respects to the ultimate blue,” a fan in a Fox 2 interview said.

Thankfully, Plager was able to hold the Stanley Cup above his head when the Blues brought home the title in their famed 2019 season, which was just one of the many honors that he has had as of late considering the Blues retired his number five jersey back in 2017. Plager was a man who always put the community first, so it is touching to see this same St. Louis community giving back to him and his family in these hard times.