Before the Philadelphia Flyers became goons, blistered the Penguins between 1974—89 and have groveled in the Pens’ shadow ever since, the Penguins’ main rival was St. Louis.
In that era, the Blues were the Plager brothers.
The Blues had a lot of good players, like Red Berenson and Garry Unger. Hall-of-Famers like Glenn Hall, Doug Harvey, Dickie Moore and Jacques Plante made cameos.
But the Blues were the Plager brothers: Barclay, Bob and Billy, patrolling the blue line with swagger, physicality and mean dispositions.
We hated the Plagers back then. But they were good players, terrific villains and worthy foes. Barclay was Public Enemy No. 1 at the Civic Arena: “Bar-clay! Bar-clay!”
Barclay was the oldest. He passed in 1988. Billy, the youngest, died in 2016. Bob perished yesterday in a car wreck. He was 78.
Bob was a true Blue. He was an original member of the team in 1967 and played in three Stanley Cup Finals. When he retired in 1978, he took work with the Blues’ front office. His number 5 was retired. Bob was with the Blues in some capacity from 1967 ‘til his death.
When the Blues finally won their first Stanley Cup in 2019, I immediately thought of Bob Plager. He was there. That made me feel good. Bob finally got the parade he'd waited his whole life for.
The Plagers were tough, but fair. They had honor. They could play for my team any day.
Bob Plager, RIP.
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