ST. LOUIS • Legendary hockey Blues player Bobby Plager was killed in a car accident on Wednesday afternoon. Several police sources and media outlets throughout St. Louis reported that Plager had been transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after. He was 78.
Police sources confirmed that Plager was alone in his vehicle when it collided with a vehicle carrying two women on Interstate 64 in St. Louis about 1:30 p.m. One of the women sustained minor injuries. The crash happened just east of Kingshighway near the Boyle Avenue exit.
Plager was connected to the St. Louis Blues franchise for more than 50 years. Originally from Canada, the hockey legend became an American citizen in 2012.
Plager was an original Blues player, moving over from the New York Rangers when the NHL expanded in 1967-68. He went on to play 14 seasons as a defenseman for the team. He coached the team for 11 games in 1992.
Bobby Plager played with his two brothers, Barclay and Billy, and the sibling trio went on to push the Blues into three consecutive Stanley Cup finals. Barclay Plager died in 1988 and Bill in 2016; Bobby was the last surviving brother.
The Blues retired his No. 5 jersey in 2017, and it joined brother Barclay’s No. 8 in the rafters.
“It is unimaginable to imagine the St. Louis Blues without Bobby Plager,” the team said in a statement. “He was an original 1967 member of the St. Louis Blues, but also an original in every sense of the word. Bobby’s influence at all levels of the Blues organization was profound and everlasting, and his loss to our city will be deep.”
Plager was a familiar face in the organization’s front office, often representing the team at events and recognitions.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement, “Few men in the history of our game were more closely connected to a city and a franchise than Bob Plager was to St. Louis and the Blues.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.