The Starting Six series comes to you to dive into the best player at each position all-time for every organization. The biggest and best at each position, with the most memorable moments in franchise history. Here is the St. Louis Blues all-time lineup.
Starting Six: St. Louis Blues All-Time Lineup
Center: Bernie Federko (1976-89)
The Blues all-time leader in points, assists, and games played, Bernie Federko is a true Blues legend. Except for one year with Detroit, Federko spent his entire 14-year NHL career in St. Louis. Federko finished his Blues career with 721 assists and a grand total of 1,073 points. He was the first player in NHL history to record 50 assists in 10 straight seasons.
Playing in an era with Wayne Gretzky has overshadowed some of his excellence. However, in 1986 a poll ran by Goal Magazine had Bernie as the most overlooked player in hockey. He was no slouch in the playoffs either, racking up 101 points in 91 games, and still remains the Blues all-time leader in playoff assists (66). The two-time All-Star still works with the Blues today as a pregame TV commentator. His number 24 hangs from the rafters at Scottrade Center and he was named into the NHL Hall of Fame in 2002.
Left Wing: Brian Sutter (1976-88)
Drafted in the second round of the 1976 NHL Entry Draft, Brian Sutter spent his entire 12-year career as a member of the St. Louis Blues. Sutter ranks third in Blues history in games played (779), goals (303), assists (333), and points(636). Brian is a part of one of the most famous families in hockey history, with five of six brothers making it to the NHL. His leadership skills were valued with the club as Sutter was team captain for nine of his 12 years with the organization.
Not only was he a leader, but he could produce on the ice. Amassing four 30-goal seasons to go along with two 40-goal seasons. The three-time All-Star played alongside Bernie Federko to give the Blues plenty of offense in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s. His number 11 has been retired by the Blues. He went on to be a head coach in the NHL, winning the Jack Adams Award in 1991 as head coach of the St. Louis Blues.
Right Wing: Brett Hull (1987-98)
This was the easiest selection for the St. Louis Blues all-time lineup. A member of the Blues for 11 seasons Brett Hull thrilled the city of St. Louis with his goal scoring prowess. On March 7th, 1988 the Blues acquired Hull from the Calgary Flames in one of the best moves in franchise history. During his tenure he tortured opposing defenses and goalies alike with his incredible shot. Leading the league in goals three times in a row between the 1989-90 season and the 1991-92 season. In those seasons Hull scored 72, 86, and 70 goals respectively.
The outspoken forward was an eight-time All-Star and won the Hart Trophy in the 1990-91 season. The Golden Brett captained the Blues from the 1992-93 season until the 1995-96 season. In the 1990-91 season Hull became only the fifth player to score 50 goals in 50 games. Brett Hull scored an incredible 67 goals in postseason play for the Blues. Hull’s number 16 can never be worn again by a Blue, and he was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2009. Brett and Bobby Hull became the first father and son Hall of Fame duo.
Defensemen: Al MacInnis (1994-2004)
The owner of one the best slapshots in NHL history spent 10 years on the blue line in the gateway to the west. Al MacInnis made his way to the top of the Blues points record for a defensemen. After signing with the St. Louis Blues before the 1994-95 season, injuries limited the former Calgary Flame to just 32 games that year, although it was in a 48-game season, due to the lockout. After that season MacInnis took off, putting up 61 points the following year. MacInnis put up 40 points or more in seven out of his ten seasons in St. Louis, including a high of 68 in 2002-03 season.
Alongside linemate Chris Pronger, he helped form one of the best defensive tandems in NHL history. He captained the Blues for two years, including his final season in 2003-04. The number two has been retired by the Blues and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007, ranking third in points by a defenseman.
Defensemen: Chris Pronger (1995-2004)
Chris Pronger captained the Blues into the new millennium from his defensive spot. The 2000 Hart Trophy winner spent nine years in St. Louis. He was acquired through a trade sending Brendan Shanahan to the Hartford Whalers in July of 1995. Pronger was named captain before the 1997-98 season and had the ‘C’ on his sweater for five seasons. Alongside MacInnis, he played on one of the best defensive tandems in NHL history.
He is second in points by a defensmen in Blues history, only trailing his partner MacInnis. Never one to shy away from physical play Pronger was a force in the offensive and defensive zones. Pronger went on to win a Cup in Anaheim and in 2015 the six-time All-Star was named into the NHL Hall of Fame. Although injuries cut his career a bit short he was able to put on the blue note one last time in the Winter Classic Alumni Game in 2017.
Goalie: Curtis Joseph (1989-95)
“Only Jesus saves more than Cujo” read a church sign in St. Louis during Cutris Joseph’s reign. Spending six seasons with the blue note across his sweater Joseph is the Blues all-time leader in saves. Joseph is second, however, in games played (280) and wins (137). Cujo led the league in save percentage in the 1992-93 season. That season Joseph led the Blues to a first round upset of the Chicago Blackhawks, the Clarence Campbell Conference regular season champions that year. His netminding almost led the Blues to another upset of the Maple Leafs before falling in Game Seven. Joseph finished that postseason with an impressive .938 save percentage. Overall, his postseason save percentage sat at a respectable .917.
The Blues have some very prominent names in their now 50-year history. Keith Tkachuk is just another one of them. The big physical power forward was a mainstay in front of the net for the Blues in the 2000’s. Known for his mixture of scoring touch and grueling style. Throughout his career Tkachuk had eight 30-goal seasons, including three times in St. Louis. Traded from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2001, Tkachuk helped the Blues reach the Western Conference finals.
Tkachuk ranks within the top ten in points (427), goals (208), powerplay goals (96), and game-winning goals (29) in Blues history. Tkachuk was the lone bright spot in the middle of the decade for the Blues before his trade to Atlanta in the 2006-07 season. He returned to St. Louis the following season and was able to play in one more playoff run in 2009. His number 7 is retired alongside three other players in a salute to the players who have donned that number.