Singing The Blues

I've been really into the IIHF World Juniors; because of my brief venture in collecting 2017 NHL Draft autographs a while back, I'm familiar with a lot of the names participating in this years tournament which has made it extra exciting to watch.

I picked up this card a couple of weeks back. It's been on my radar as it features one of the rare pieces of cardboard with both Brett Hull and Wayne Gretzky as teammates on the St. Louis Blues.

Wayne Gretzky’s time wearing the blue note is likely the least talked about juncture over his career but personally one of my favorite moments just because of the sheer fleeting-ness to it. It's almost like it never did happen.

Hull and Gretzky - what a deadly tandem eh. The whole thing felt very WWF tag team-esqe. Gretzky was Hogan and Hull was Randy Savage, combined they formed The Mega Powers! St├ęphane Matteau can play the part of Miss Elizabeth. Fans of 1980s WWF will know what I'm talking about.

It seemed like a match made in hockey heaven. The best playmaker in NHL history feeding the puck to one of the most prestigious goal scorers in the game - it made complete sense.

The Blues obtained Gretzky for almost nothing. Craig Johnson, Roman Vopat, and Patrice Tardif were sent packing to the Los Angeles Kings along with a 1st and 5th round draft pick who which neither played an NHL game.

In 18 regular season games with the Blues Gretz assisted on 3 Hull goals, and in 13 playoff games he assisted on 3 more Hull goals. Gretzky also led the Blues in playoff scoring that year. St. Louis forced the 130-point juggernaut Detroit Red Wings to Game 7 OT in the second-round. Had Grant Fuhr not been injured, who knows what would have happened.

The stats were far from terrible but maybe a little disappointing given how high expectations were set.

Due to public criticism from Keenan, Gretzky left for the New York Rangers as an unrestricted free agent following the season, in spite of a more lucrative contract offer from the Blues.

As I mentioned previously, It was such a brief stretch of time that it's almost like it never occurred. And I'm sure for some freshman hockey fans, they probably haven't become aware of it yet.

1 comment:

  1. Man I didn't realize Gretzy's stint with the Blues was so short. Guess it was 20+ years ago... but it felt a little longer. Maybe it's all of the Gretzky cards (95/96 and 96/97 inserts) where he's featured in a Blues uniform that throws me off.


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