St. Louis Blues | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Blues

The Loop Trolley during a test drive on June 13, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue, Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll break down some of the week’s biggest stories in federal, state and local politics.

Of particular interest for many St. Louis area residents is the financial peril surrounding the Loop Trolley.

Fans watch as the Stanley Cup championship banner is raised to the rafters at Enterprise Center.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

The rafters at Enterprise Center have gained what St. Louis hockey fans have long sought — a Stanley Cup championship banner.

In a ceremony prior to Wednesday night’s season opener, St. Louis Blues fans roared as the team raised the banner before a capacity crowd.

St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo raises the Stanley Cup above his head during the downtown championship celebration.
Hockey Hall of Fame Archive

The St. Louis Blues’ summer of celebration is coming to an end. Training camp for a new season is underway, and the team’s time with the Stanley Cup is nearly over — at least for now.

“The Stanley Cup champion gets approximately 100 days to travel with the cup,” said Phil Pritchard, whose official title is vice president and curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame but is better known as the "Keeper of the Cup."

“That name kind of came around by hockey fans,” he said. “It just got created.”

St. Louis Public Library is looking for all sorts of Blues-related materials.
St. Louis Public Library

Two and a half weeks ago, the St. Louis Blues made history with their first Stanley Cup, and the memories are still fresh for lifelong and recent fans alike. To help keep those memories alive for many years to come, St. Louis Public Library is encouraging people around the region to contribute Blues-related artifacts to the team’s official archive.

The growing collection is housed at Central Library, the library system's downtown branch. Available for public viewing by appointment, the archive got its start in 2016, when the library partnered with the Blues on an exhibit looking back on the team’s first five decades.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann talked about the archive and what sorts of materials the library is seeking to add to it with Amanda Bahr-Evola, manager of special collections and digital archives.

Floats and fire trucks make their way down Market Street during the Blues championship parade in downtown St. Louis on Saturday.
Nick Schnelle | Special to St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Blues fans by the tens of thousands gathered downtown Saturday to watch their team celebrate its first Stanley Cup victory.

The rain let up just as the parade began at noon. Floats, which featured individual players and their families, started at 18th Street and moved slowly down Market Street toward Gateway Arch National Park.

Blues fans celebrate winning the Stanley Cup at a watch party Wednesday, June 12, 2019.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Fans will say this parade has been 52 years in the making. Those organizing it put the event together in a matter of days.

“We’re very superstitious in hockey,” said Steve Chapman of the Blues’ front office. “So we started planning this about two days into the Stanley Cup Final. Quietly, very quietly.”

But details are set for the Blues’ championship parade and rally to celebrate the team winning the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup this week. It’s the team’s first championship.

St. Louis Blues fans embrace after a long-awaited first Stanley Cup win for the franchise. They joined thousands who watched the historic win on the video board at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. June 12, 2019
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has the Blues, and fans can't get enough of them.

In its 52nd season in the National Hockey League, the hockey team — the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues — hoisted the prized trophy for the first time after defeating the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night, 4-1, in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in Boston.

It was history. The kind of put-down-your-phone-and-yell history that fans — old and new — will remember for the rest of their lives.

Where were you when the Blues won the Stanley Cup?

DON'T USE AS FILE PHOTO St. Louis Blues' Alex Pietrangelo carries the Stanley Cup after the Blues defeated the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston
AP | Charles Krupa

Updated at 11 a.m., June 13 with details about the championship parade — For the first time in their 52-year history, the St. Louis Blues have hoisted the Stanley Cup.

The Blues defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 Wednesday night to secure their first-ever National Hockey League championship. When the final buzzer sounded, fans in St. Louis and elsewhere erupted in a long-awaited celebration, as the Blues mobbed their goaltender on the ice in Boston.

The city of St. Louis will honor the team with a parade and rally downtown along Market Street at noon on Saturday. The route starts at 18th Street and ends at Broadway. A rally will be held afterwards at the Gateway Arch. 

Longtime national anthem singer Charles Glenn, 64, has announced plans to retire at the end of the St. Louis Blues' 2019 season.
St. Louis Blues

When the St. Louis Blues take home ice Monday night against the Boston Bruins for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, fans will be singing, as they have since the franchise was established in 1967.

With all respect to “Gloria,” this season’s victory anthem, the St. Louis Blues have always embraced music.

The team, after all, was named for the classic melody “The St. Louis Blues,” written by W.C. Handy in 1914. And that winged Blue Note logo — arguably, one of the best logos in all of hockey — symbolizes the city, as well as the team.

John Oefelein used to be in charge of recruiting referees for hockey games in the St. Louis area. He's purchased season tickets every year of the St. Louis Blues' existence. May 31, 2019
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Plenty of people from the region and around the country are jumping on the St. Louis Blues' bandwagon during this year’s impressive playoff run. But an 87-year-old diehard from Chesterfield has been a huge fan since the beginning. John Oefelein has purchased season tickets every year of the team’s existence.

The image of Bobby Orr flying through the air after scoring the winning goal in the 1970 Stanley Cup Final was on a wall of The Geyer Inn a few years ago. O'Neil said it's a "great photo" that "kind of captures the frustration" for the Blues.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

A nearly five-decade wait for hockey fans throughout the St. Louis region ends Monday. The Blues will return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970.

They will be in Boston to take on the Bruins, the same team that knocked out the Blues the last time they made it this far.

Author Dan O’Neill’s connection to the National Hockey League team goes way back. He was working as a busboy in the old arena club during that 1970 final and was in the building earlier this month when the Blues clinched a spot in this year’s final playoff round.

Outside the Enterprise Center on 05/22/19 , the day after The St. Louis Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks to go to the Stanley Cup Final.
Corinne Ruff | St. Louis Public Radio

So far this year, the St. Louis Blues have generated nearly $4 million in city revenue. And now that the hockey team is headed to the Stanley Cup Final, the city expects an extra financial bump.

That’s according to estimates from St. Louis Budget Director Paul Payne. He said the city will predominantly benefit from direct revenue brought in from sales taxes on tickets. Indirect money from spending on things like concessions, parking, restaurants and hotels will also contribute to the city’s budget.

“I’d estimated back at the beginning of the playoffs you’d see the three games would probably be somewhere in the area of $300,000, which would go up with each succeeding series,” he said.

Fans celebrate amid falling streamers after the St. Louis Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-1 on Tuesday night, sending the team back to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 49 years. May 22, 2019.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Enterprise Center and much of St. Louis erupted in bedlam Tuesday night as the final horn sounded, sending the St. Louis Blues to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.

The Blues beat the San Jose Sharks in spectacular fashion, scoring two power-play goals and an empty-netter to win 5-1. It sets up a rematch of the 1970 final, which the Boston Bruins won in four.

Longtime national anthem singer Charles Glenn, 64, has announced plans to retire at the end of the St. Louis Blues' 2019 season.
St. Louis Blues

For the past 19 years, Charles Glenn’s voice has regularly set the tone for St. Louis Blues home games. Last week he announced that this will be his last season singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the hockey team, citing multiple sclerosis as a factor in his decision to retire.

Monday’s St. Louis on the Air revisited a conversation with Glenn from about two years ago, when Glenn opened up about the experience of frequently performing the national anthem in front of a huge crowd.

“You’re singing it to 16,000 people every game, because every game’s a sellout,” the singer told executive producer Alex Heuer. “And it’s a rush, it really is. Each game is a thrill. I love it … and since it’s in a hockey arena, it’s a closer-knit audience – they’re closer to you, so you feel their energy. It’s a good thing.”

The Minner Arena fan cave is in the basement of O'Fallon photographer Dennis Minner.
Dennis Minner

An O’Fallon, Missouri, resident might have the coolest basement around — especially if you are a hockey fan. Dennis Minner has converted the space into a mini-Scottrade Center, with much of it devoted to his love of the St. Louis Blues hockey team.

Dan O'Neill is the author of a new book about the history of the St. Louis Blues hockey team.
Reedy Press

The St. Louis Blues are off to a fast start in the 2017-2018 NHL season. The team leads the Central Division after beginning its 51st campaign earlier this month.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, editor Bill Raack discussed the history of the St. Louis Blues hockey team with former St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist and feature writer Dan O’Neill.

Nine acts were invited by the St. Louis Blues to perform at a game this season.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Blues have invited nine acts to perform the national anthem at a game this upcoming season.

The invitations are the result of a partnership between the Blues and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, an audition process that took place on a recent Saturday at Powell Hall. The Blues and SLSO selected more than one winner after being impressed by the abundance of local talent.

Open to solo singers, groups and instrumentalists, more than 650 contestants sent in video applications. Thirty-four were invited to participate.

With elections looming, tensions continue between the St. Louis County Council and County Executive Stenger.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

All construction work would halt on the St. Louis Blues’ new practice facility under a bill introduced Tuesday by the chairman of the St. Louis County Council.

Area residents have become increasingly vocal over the possible environmental impacts of the four-rink St. Louis Ice Center facility slated to go up at Creve Coeur Lake Park in Maryland Heights. The debate further illustrates the divide among councilmembers and County Executive Steve Stenger.

The interior of the Scottrade Center on Jan. 2, 2017.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 11:45 a.m. Aug. 16 with statement from Darlene Green— The owners of the Scottrade Center in downtown St. Louis have gone to court to kick-start the planned $100 million upgrade of the home of the St. Louis Blues.

Kiel Center Partners asked a St. Louis circuit judge on Tuesdsay to force Comptroller Darlene Green to issue the bonds for the project. This is the second lawsuit related to the work in a week: three St. Louis residents sued Friday, saying it’s illegal to use public dollars to help private companies make more money.

St. Louis Blues President and CEO Chris Zimmerman, photographed at St. Louis Public Radio's studios on April 24, 2017.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Saturday, the St. Louis Blues defeated the Minnesota Wild, moving on to the next level of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Next, they’ll take on the Nashville Predators.

“The Minnesota Wild are a really strong team with a lot of weapons,” said Blues President and CEO Chris Zimmerman. “It took great goaltending and our guys stepping up to get by them. For many people that was a surprise to see us winning in five games. Nashville is playing really well. You don’t sweep the Chicago Blackhawks without being an outstanding team.”

St. Louis Blues Chairman Tom Stillman and Lewis Reed, president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, leave the stage after presenting their ideas for improvements to the Scottrade Center.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Some of St. Louis’ top officials are signing onto a large-scale renovation of the Scottrade Center, a facility that’s home of the St. Louis Blues and dozens of musical and sports-related events.

The plan comes as the owner of the Blues warns that the city could start losing lucrative events without the partially taxpayer-funded proposal.

The field at Busch Stadium had a music theme to mark the Winter Classic between the Blues and Blackhawks on Jan. 2, 2017.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

It was a celebration of hockey between two rivals and a chess match with Mother Nature.

The St. Louis Blues won both.

St. Louis Blues history comes to the public library

Dec 6, 2016
Allen Roth and Jerry Eastman both contributed objects to the St. Louis Blues memorabilia exhibit.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Bruce Brodsky will never forget watching St. Louis Blues center Doug Wickenheiser score the winning goal — after what seemed like sure defeat — in Game Six of the 1986 Stanley Cup playoffs.

“The rafters were shaking the people were banging their wooden seats, cheering, hugging, high fiving,” Brodsky said.

Today, Brodsky’s tickets to the game now known affectionately among fans as the Monday Night Miracle are on display at the St. Louis Public Library’s new exhibit: “50 Years of Blood, Sweat and Cheers-A Tribute to the St. Louis Blues and their Fans.” It runs at the library's central branch through March 4.

Goalie masks and homeplate
Provided by St. Louis Blues

Following the selection of five St. Louis area players in the first round of this year's National Hockey League draft, officials with the Blues, Chicago Blackhawks and the NHL are convinced an outdoor game in January will help build on the sport's already solid footing in the region.

League Commissioner Gary Bettman stopped in St. Louis Tuesday to promote the Jan. 2, 2017, contest between the Blues and Blackhawks at Busch Stadium.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Next winter will serve as a curtain call for the head coach of the St. Louis Blues.

Ken Hitchcock has agreed to another one-year contract with the National Hockey League team and he says it will be his final year as a coach.

“I want one-year deals because it allows me to do the things I need to do,” Hitchcock told reporters gathered Tuesday at Scottrade Center for the Blues' end-of-season news conference.

“But I'm telling you right now, this is my last one-year deal. I'm not coaching after this year. This is it.”

St. Louis celebrates National Blues Museum debut

Apr 2, 2016
Blues musician Bobby Rush, museum leaders and Mayor Francis Slay celebrate the opening of the National Blues Museum on Saturday, April 2, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The National Blues Museum — a sensory rich, colorful homage to blues music — is now open in downtown St. Louis.

A crowd of people attended the long-awaited grand opening Saturday, lining up down the 600 block of Washington Avenue to be the first to see the new exhibits.

Sam Sextro lights candles across the street from the Edward Jones Dome while mourning the city's loss of the Rams. Sextro and a friend, who ran a St. Louis University High Rams fan club, met outside the stadium Wednesday for a "final tailgate."
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This commentary was originally posted on St. Louis Public Radio reporter Maria Altman’s Facebook page on January 14, 2016. It was recorded for “St. Louis on the Air” on January 19, 2016. Listen to the radio commentary here:

Some thought on the Rams leaving for L.A.:

Martin Brodeur and reporter
Wayne Pratt, St. Louis Public Radio

Even though he only played a handful of games with the St. Louis Blues, the National Hockey League’s most successful goaltender ever is comfortable enough with the organization, and the city, to hang around a bit longer.

Martin Brodeur officially hung up his skates Thursday and accepted a front office job with the hockey team.

He is now senior advisor to the team’s General Manager Doug Armstrong, as the Blues prepare for a Stanley Cup push by relying on a new executive who did it all as a player.

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

The St. Louis Blues kicked off their training camp Sunday morning with a practice that was free to the public.

Even though the team has a shortened season, plenty of fans are happy a lengthy labor standoff between players and owners has been put to rest.

Paul Fries was one of more than 6,000 people who finally got to see their team take the ice, though he thought the months-long staring contest between players and owners would derail the National Hockey League this year.

“I was really thinking there probably wouldn’t be a season,” Fries said.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The man who led the St. Louis Blues to one of the best seasons in franchise history this year will be behind the bench until 2014.

The team announced today that Ken Hitchcock has signed a one-year contract extension, with an option for the 2014-2015 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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