St. Louis Blues hockey legend Bobby Plager dies in car crash

ST. LOUIS — Bobby Plager, who starred for the St. Louis Blues during 11 of his 14 seasons in the National Hockey League, was killed on Wednesday in a car crash on an interstate, the team said. He was 78.

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Plager was killed in a two-vehicle wreck about 1:30 p.m. CDT on Interstate 40 near St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

His death was confirmed by Blues general manager Doug Armstrong in a video statement.

“As Bobby would fondly say: ‘He’s No. 5 in your program, but No. 1 in your hearts,” Armstrong said. “That holds true today and forever as Bobby truly is the St. Louis Blues.”

Several police units responded to the scene of the crash. Police did not say what caused the crash, but there was a Cadillac SUV and a Dodge minivan with significant damage at the scene, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The occupant of the other car, a woman who is believed to have been the driver, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, KSDK reported.

After beginning his career with the New York Rangers in 1964, Plager became a member of the Blues when the NHL expanded in 1967. While a low-scoring defenseman, Plager had 20 goals and 141 assists during his career. He retired after the 1977-78 season.

“He was an original 1967 member of the St. Louis Blues, but also an original in every sense of the word,” the Blues said in a statement. Bobby’s influence at all levels of the Blues organization was profound and everlasting, and his loss to our city will be deep.”

Plager and his brothers, Barclay and Bill, played four seasons together with the Blues, KTVI reported.

After his playing career, Bobby Plager served in a variety of roles in the Blues’ front office and on the ice, the television station reported. He also served as the team’s coach for 11 games during the 1992-93 season.

Plager finally got to see the Blues hoist the Stanley Cup in 2019. The Blues retired his No. 5 jersey in 2017, the Post-Dispatch reported.