Troy Brouwer is a Canadian professional ice hockey winger for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League. He has played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, he was a member of the Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks in 2010. Brouwer was educated at North Delta Secondary School, he was drafted 214th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks. Brouwer spent his major junior career in the Western Hockey League with the Moose Jaw Warriors. In his final year with the Warriors in 2005–06, he was named team captain and led Moose Jaw with a team-high 49 goals and 53 assists. Brouwer's 102 points led the league in points, by which he was awarded the Bob Clarke Trophy. Brouwer was assigned to the Norfolk Admirals, the Blackhawks' American Hockey League affiliate in 2006–07, where he recorded 79 points and was named to the AHL All-Rookie and Second All-Star Team, he made his NHL debut that season, playing 10 games with the Blackhawks. As a Blackhawk, Brouwer joined three of his previous minor hockey teammates, Colin Fraser, Brent Seabrook and Andrew Ladd from his Vancouver team, the Pacific Vipers.
In the 2007–08 season, Brouwer was again in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago's newly assigned AHL affiliate. Although his production dropped to 54 points in 75 games, he scored a franchise-record 25 power play goals, just two shy of the league record. Recalled by the Blackhawks for a short two-game stint, Brouwer recorded his first NHL point, an assist on March 23, 2008, against the St. Louis Blues; the 2009–10 season saw a huge improvement in Brouwer's performance, where scored 22 goals and 40 points that season. In the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs, Brouwer played in 19 for the Blackhawks and won the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals; the following season, Brouwer continued to put up decent numbers for the Blackhawks despite being 10th in scoring on the team. On June 24, 2011 Brouwer was traded to the Washington Capitals for Washington's first round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. On July 6, Brouwer signed a two-year, $4.7 million contract with the Capitals. During the 2011–12 season, on January 13, 2012, he recorded his first NHL hat trick against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
On September 12, 2012, the Capitals signed Brouwer to a three-year, $11 million contract extension worth $3.666,667 annually. On July 2, 2015, the Capitals traded Brouwer to the St. Louis Blues along with Pheonix Copley and a 2016 3rd-round draft pick in exchange for T. J. Oshie, he elevated his play for the Blues in 20 playoff games as the Blues reached the Western Conference Finals. Brouwer scored eight goals during the postseason, including the game-winning goal in Game 7 of Round One against his former team, the Blackhawks. At the conclusion of his contract with the Blues, Brouwer left to sign as a free agent to a four-year, $18 million contract with the Calgary Flames on July 1, 2016. Prior to the beginning of the season, Brouwer was named one of the team's alternate captains. In his first season with the club, Brouwer’s performance declined and he only managed to record 25 points in 74 games. During the 2017-18 season, Brouwer’s performance hit an bigger decline, recorded a career low 6 goals and 22 points in 76 games.
Brouwer did not record a single goal until December 2017 against the Philadelphia Flyers. For only the second time in his NHL career, Brouwer did not qualify for the playoffs. On August 3, 2018, the Flames bought out the final two years of Brouwer's contract, making him an unrestricted free agent. On August 27, 2018, the Florida Panthers signed Brouwer to a one-year, $800,000 contract. Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Eurohockey.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
Duncan Keith is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman and an alternate captain for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League. Keith is known as a two-way defenceman, capable in offensive roles, he is a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Blackhawks in 2010, 2013 and 2015. In 2017, Keith was named one of the "100 Greatest NHL Players" in history. Following his freshman year at Michigan State University, Keith was selected in the second round, 54th overall, by Chicago in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. After splitting the next year between Michigan State and the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, he spent two seasons with the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League. In 2005–06, he played his NHL rookie season with the Blackhawks. Four years he won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL's best defenceman and helped the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup in 2010. Keith won a third Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013 and 2015, respectively, he received the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2015 by a unanimous vote.
Internationally, Keith has represented Canada on three occasions, winning gold medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Keith was born to Jean Keith, he is a middle child, with younger sister Rebecca. His family moved to Fort Frances, Ontario, in 1985 after his father was transferred from Winnipeg for an assistant manager position at a Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce branch. Keith's mother worked in the health field at Rainycrest Home for the Aged in Fort Frances. Keith grew up as a Boston Bruins fan, singling-out defenceman Ray Bourque and forward Cam Neely as his favourite players, as well as Wayne Gretzky. Keith played minor hockey in the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association along with his brother. Beginning as a forward with the Fort Frances Times Tigers, he has recalled switching to defence at the age of eight or nine, he went on to play AA Atom with Pinewood Sports and Marine Ltd and PeeWee with the Knights of Columbus. After Keith established himself in the NHL, the town of Fort Frances recognized his success by declaring July 17, 2008, "Duncan Keith Day."While Keith began to be recruited for AAA Bantam in Thunder Bay, his father obtained a managerial position at a CIBC branch in Summerland, British Columbia.
At age 15, his family moved once again to nearby Penticton, where he finished his last two years of minor hockey. He earned a spot on the local Junior A team, the Penticton Panthers of the British Columbia Hockey League, as a 16-year-old. Keith played three years for the Penticton Panthers from 1999–00 through 2000–01, scoring 78 goals and 148 assists for 226 points in 163 games, he was recruited by Michigan State University and played college hockey there for two years with the Michigan State Spartans of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. He scored a goal in his Spartans debut in the Cold War, an outdoor game at Spartan Stadium against the state-rival University of Michigan Wolverines on October 6, 2001, that set a record for attendance at a hockey game, he completed his freshman year with 3 goals and 15 points in 41 games, ranked fourth among team defencemen behind John-Michael Liles, Brad Fast and Andrew Hutchinson. During Keith's second college season, he left the Spartans after 15 games to join the major junior ranks.
He returned to British Columbia to play for the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League and amassed 46 points over 37 regular season games with a +32 plus-minus in his single season there. He added 14 points in 19 playoff games. Keith was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round, 54th overall, of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, he signed with Chicago prior to the 2003–04 season and spent his first two seasons after junior in the American Hockey League with the team affiliate Norfolk Admirals. He recorded seven goals and 25 points over 75 games in his professional rookie season in 2003–04. Keith's chances of earning a spot with the Blackhawks the following season were eliminated due to the 2004–05 NHL lock-out. Remaining with the Admirals, he continued his pace with 26 points in 79 games. Following two seasons in the AHL, Keith made the Blackhawks squad out of the 2005 training camp, he played in his first NHL game on October 2005, against the Anaheim Ducks. He made an immediate impact on the club, scoring 9 goals and 21 points, while averaging over 23 minutes of ice time in 81 games during his 2005–06 NHL rookie season.
The Blackhawks re-signed him in the off-season to a four-year contract extension. In 2006–07, he played in all 82 games for the Blackhawks and once again led the team in average ice time at 23 minutes, he had 2 goals and 31 points while leading the team in blocked shots with 148. For the 2007–08 season, Keith saw more ice time as injuries wracked the Blackhawks' defensive corps, he began the season on the top-defensive pairing with Brent Seabrook. By mid-January, he was averaging 24:31 minutes of ice time and had a team leading plus-minus of +14, he was rewarded for this effort by a selection to his first NHL All-Star Game in 2008. Keith went on to finish the season with 12 goals and 32 points, along with a +30 plus-minus rating, despite being on a non-playoff team. On October 8, 2008, Keith was named an alternate captain along with forward Patrick Sharp to the start the 2008–09 season, he helped a rejuvenated Blackhawks team, led by second-year forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, back into the Stanley Cup playoffs, recording 8 goals and 44 points, second among team defencemen to Brian Campbell.
He added 6 points in 17 playoff games as the Blackhawks advanced to the Western Conference Finals, w
The Winnipeg Jets are a professional ice hockey team based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the team plays its home games at Bell MTS Place. The Jets began play as the Atlanta Thrashers in the 1999–2000 NHL season. True North Sports & Entertainment bought the team in May 2011 and relocated the franchise from Atlanta to Winnipeg prior to the 2011–12 season; the team was renamed the Jets after Winnipeg's original WHA/NHL team, which relocated after the 1995–96 season to become the Arizona Coyotes. On December 27, 1971, Winnipeg was granted one of the founding franchises in the World Hockey Association. By 1979, the vast majority of the WHA's teams had folded, but the Jets were still going strong and they were absorbed into the NHL along with the Quebec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers and Hartford Whalers as part of the WHA–NHL merger. Team owner Barry Shenkarow sold the team to American businessmen Steven Gluckstern and Richard Burke.
Burke and Gluckstern planned to move the team to Minnesota, but reached an agreement with Phoenix businessman Jerry Colangelo that would see the team move to Arizona and become the Phoenix Coyotes. The original Winnipeg Jets played their last game on April 28, 1996; the city of Atlanta was awarded an NHL expansion franchise, named the Atlanta Thrashers, on June 25, 1997. It was the second NHL franchise for Atlanta; the Thrashers began play in the 1999–2000 season. In their 12 years, the Thrashers qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs only once, during the 2006–07 season, never won a playoff game. Due to their lack of playoff success, the team had difficulty drawing fans to attend their games in their final seasons. Although they moved for financial reasons, the Coyotes have never been profitable in Arizona. Mounting losses compelled the franchise to file for bankruptcy after the 2008-09 season; the team was taken over by the league. As early as October 2009, there were rumours that True North Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns both Winnipeg's Bell MTS Place and the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose and is chaired by Mark Chipman, had been invited to bid on the city's former franchise.
TNSE submitted a series of bids for the Coyotes, which were taken enough that the league drew up a tentative schedule with Winnipeg in place of Phoenix. The NHL shelved the bid after securing a large subsidy from the Coyotes' municipal government. In contrast to aggressive, public bids by Jim Balsillie, True North's low-key approach was praised by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and other owners, raising their profile when the question of the Thrashers' relocation came up. On May 20, 2011, the Winnipeg Sun confirmed that an agreement in principle had been reached for True North to purchase the Thrashers, while Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz announced that he was confident that the Thrashers' relocation to Winnipeg would soon be announced. On May 31, 2011, at a press conference at the MTS Centre, Bettman confirmed that the Atlanta Thrashers had been sold to True North and would relocate to Winnipeg for the 2011–12 season, pending the approval of the sale and relocation by the NHL's Board of Governors, which came at their June 21, 2011, meeting.
The reported purchase price was $170 million, with $60 million going to the NHL as a relocation fee. After the announcement, True North made preparations to move the Moose franchise to St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Season ticket sales began June 2011, with Manitoba Moose season ticket holders having priority; the team sought to sell 13,000 season tickets in an effort to prove its viability. Within the first three and a half hours, the new franchise sold 1,870 packages to Moose season ticket holders. Season tickets sold out in 17 minutes. Once the "Drive to 13,000" was completed, True North started a season ticket waiting list, shut down after 8,000 people signed up in two hours. In July 2011, tickets for October 9 home opener against the Montreal Canadiens were listed for an average price of $1,711 on Stubhub, with an average selling price of $713. True North said the team's name would not be announced until after the successful completion of the season ticket drive at the earliest; the team was not to be named the Thrashers, since True North did not acquire the name in the transaction, the rights to that name and the Thrashers logo were retained by the ownership group in Atlanta.
There was considerable support in Winnipeg to reuse "Winnipeg Jets", the name of the city's original WHA and NHL franchise, though rumours spread that True North preferred "Manitoba Moose". "Whiteout" and "Falcons" were considered, but the latter was rejected in deference to Atlanta, which has another professional sports team by that name. True North kept their selection secret until the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 24, when Chipman introduced General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to "make our first pick, on behalf of the Winnipeg Jets."Before the franchise relocation was completed, True North bought out the remaining years of General Manager Rick Dudley's contract on June 4, 2011. Thrashers President Don Waddell, with the franchise since its inception, had earlier announced he
Ice hockey at the Olympic Games
Ice hockey tournaments have been staged at the Olympic Games since 1920. The men's tournament was introduced at the 1920 Summer Olympics and was transferred permanently to the Winter Olympic Games program in 1924, in France; the women's tournament was first held at the 1998 Winter Olympics. The Olympic Games were intended for amateur athletes. However, the advent of the state-sponsored "full-time amateur athlete" of the Eastern Bloc countries further eroded the ideology of the pure amateur, as it put the self-financed amateurs of the Western countries at a disadvantage; the Soviet Union entered teams of athletes who were all nominally students, soldiers, or working in a profession, but many of whom were in reality paid by the state to train on a full-time basis. In 1986, the International Olympic Committee voted to allow professional athletes to compete in the Olympic Games starting in 1988; the National Hockey League was reluctant to allow its players to compete because the Olympics are held in the middle of the NHL season, the league would have to halt play if many of its players participated.
NHL players were admitted starting in 1998. However, the NHL again refused to release its players starting in 2018. From 1924 to 1988, the tournament started with a round-robin series of games and ended with the medal round. Medals were awarded based on points accumulated during that round. In 1992, the playoffs were introduced for the first time since 1920. In 1998, the format of the tournament was adjusted to accommodate the NHL schedule; the tournament format was changed again in 2006. The games of the tournament follow the rules of the International Ice Hockey Federation, which differ from the rules used in the NHL; the tournament follows the World Anti-Doping Agency's rules on performance-enhancing drugs and the IIHF maintains a Registered Testing Pool, a list of top players who are subjected to random in-competition and out-of-competition drug tests. Several players have tested positive for banned substances since the 1972 Winter Olympics. In the men's tournament, Canada was the most successful team of the first three decades, winning six of seven gold medals.
Czechoslovakia and the United States were competitive during this period and won multiple medals. Between 1920 and 1968, the Olympic hockey tournament was counted as the Ice Hockey World Championship for that year; the Soviet Union first participated in 1956 and overtook Canada as the dominant international team, winning seven of the nine tournaments in which they participated. The United States won gold medals in 1960 and in 1980, which included their "Miracle on Ice" upset of the Soviet Union. Canada went 50 years without a gold medal, before winning one in 2002, following it with back-to-back wins in 2010 and 2014. Other nations to win gold include Great Britain in 1936, the Unified Team in 1992, Sweden in 1994 and 2006 and the Czech Republic in 1998. Other medal-winning nations include Switzerland, Germany and Russia. In July 1992, the IOC voted to approve women's hockey as an Olympic event; the Nagano Organizing Committee was hesitant to include the event because of the additional costs of staging the tournament, but an agreement was reached that limited the field to six teams, ensured that no additional facilities would be built.
The Canadian teams have dominated the event. The United States won the first tournament in 1998 and the most recent in 2018. Canada has won all of the other tournaments; the first Olympic ice hockey tournament took place at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Belgium. At the time, organized international ice hockey was still new; the International Ice Hockey Federation, the sport's governing body, was created on 15 May 1908, under the name Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace. At the 1914 Olympic Congress in Paris, ice hockey was added to the list of optional sports that Olympics organizers could include; the decision to include ice hockey for the 1920 Summer Olympics was made in January, three months before the start of the Games. Several occurrences led to the sport's inclusion in the programme. Five European nations had committed to participating in the tournament and the managers of Antwerp's Palais de Glace stadium refused to allow the building to be used for figure skating unless ice hockey was included.
The IIHF considers the 1920 tournament to be the first Ice Hockey World Championship. From on, the two events occurred concurrently, every Olympic tournament until 1968 is counted as the World Championship; the Olympic Games were intended for amateur athletes, so the players of the National Hockey League and other professional leagues were not allowed to play. The first Winter Olympic Games were held in 1924 in France. Chapter 1, article 6, of the 2007 edition of the Olympic Charter defines winter sports as "sports which are practised on snow or ice". Ice hockey and figure skating were permanently integrated in the Winter Olympics programme; the IOC made the Winter Games a permanent fixture and they were held the same year as the Summer Games until 1992. Following that, further Winter Games have been held on the third year of each Olympiad; the men's tournament held at the 1920 Summer Olympics was organized by a committee that included future IIHF president Paul Loicq. The tournament used the Bergvall System.
The first round was an elimination tournament that dete
Captain (ice hockey)
In ice hockey, the captain is the player designated by a team as the only person authorized to speak with the game officials regarding rule interpretations when the captain is on the ice. At most levels of play each team must designate one captain and a number of alternate captains who speak to the officials when the captain is on the bench. Captains wear a "C" on their sweaters, while alternate captains wear an "A". Captains have no other responsibility or authority, although they may, depending on the league or individual team, have various informal duties, such as participation in pre-game ceremonies or other events outside the game; as with most team sports that designate captains, the captain is a well-respected player and a de facto team leader. According to International Ice Hockey Federation and National Hockey League rules, the only player allowed to speak with referees about rule interpretations is the captain, or, if the captain is not on the ice, an alternate captain. Although the rules do not specify any other distinction between the captain and his teammates, the captain has numerous responsibilities to the team in North American professional hockey.
The captain is a dressing room leader, represents the players' concerns to management. The captain is considered the primary representative of the team to the public, sometimes is responsible for organizing the team's social functions and performing ceremonial on-ice functions, such as award presentations or ceremonial faceoffs. NHL teams need not designate the same player as captain from game to game. For instance, in the 1985–86, when Boston Bruins captain Terry O'Reilly retired, Ray Bourque and Rick Middleton were named as co-captains of the team. Middleton wore the "C" during home games and Bourque for road games during the season's first half, the two switched for the second half; this arrangement continued until Middleton retired in 1988 and Bourque became the sole captain. Some teams name three captains for a season; some teams rotate captains rather than keep one for an extended period of time. During each NHL game, only one player can be designated as captain. Captains are veteran players, though on occasion younger players are chosen.
The selection is seen as an important moment for a team, one that can affect the team's performance. Captains are selected by different means: in some instances, teams have held votes among their players to choose a team captain, while on other occasions, the choice was made by team management. Captains are chosen due to their seniority in the game and years of service with their current club. However, franchise players—current or emerging stars—have been named captains. Though not required, many captains have served as alternate captains of their team; some selections or removals of NHL captaincies have been controversial, more so than the other North American professional sports leagues. For instance, in Canada men's national ice hockey team, then-General Manager Bobby Clarke selected Eric Lindros for the 1998 Winter Olympics, considered somewhat controversial as Lindros was chosen over longer-tenured NHL captains such as Steve Yzerman, Ray Bourque and Wayne Gretzky, Clarke was general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers whom Lindros played for professionally.
In 2000, when the relationship between Clarke and Lindros deteriorated during contentious contract negotiations and the team's handling of Lindros' injuries, the team captaincy was issued to Eric Desjardins. Tampa Bay Lightning head coach John Tortorella stripped the captaincy from Vincent Lecavalier for failing to meet on-ice performance expectations. In 1980, Darryl Sittler angrily resigned the captaincy by cutting off the "C" from his jersey with scissors, in protest of Harold Ballard's trade of his best friend Lanny McDonald, Ballard would liken Sittler's actions to burning the Canadian flag; the rules of the IIHF, NHL and Hockey Canada do not permit goaltenders to be designated as on-ice captains, due to the logistical challenge of having the goaltender relay rules discussions between referees and coaches and return to the crease. The NHL introduced a rule prohibiting the goaltender from being a captain following the 1947–48 season. In the NCAA, there is no position-based restriction on the team captain.
Teams may designate alternate captains often erroneously called "assistant captains". Alternate captains wear the letter "A" on their jerseys in the same manner that team captains wear the "C". In the NHL, teams may appoint a captain and up to two or three alternate captains, or they may appoint three or four alternate captains and thus no captain. O A team has three alternate captains when the team has not selected a captain, or when the serving captain is injured and misses a game. In the National Hockey League, it is common for three alternate captains if no one is assigned captain or the current captain is absent. International and USA amateur rules do not allow this. If the team chooses to not appoint a captain, they are not permitted to
The Lethbridge Hurricanes are a Canadian major junior ice hockey team members of the Eastern Conference of the Western Hockey League. The team is based in Lethbridge and play their home games at the ENMAX Centre; when the Lethbridge Broncos returned to their original home in Swift Current following the 1985–86 season, hockey fans in Lethbridge did not have to wait long for a new team. The team's crowning achievement came in 1996–97, when the Hurricanes captured their first, to date only, WHL Championship; the Hurricanes finished as Memorial Cup runners-up when they lost the title game to the Hull Olympiques. That same year, they won their division title and the regular season title. In the 2007–08 season, the Hurricanes won the Eastern Conference Championship; the team changed its logo for the 2013–14 season per requests from the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals, who claim the former Hurricanes’ logo was too similar to theirs. Despite the optimism going into the season under new Head Coach Drake Berehowsky, who replaced the fired Rich Preston, the 2013–14 season would be a record-setting one, but in the wrong categories.
Some notable occurrences saw veteran forwards Sam McKechnie and Jaimen Yakuboski sent home until both players were dealt to the Seattle Thunderbirds in October. A week third year defenseman Ryan Pilon requested a trade and left the team. Pilon got his wish and was dealt to the Brandon Wheat Kings in a multiplayer deal shortly afterwards. In addition to two more players requesting trades, the team endured a public relations nightmare when Assistant Coach Brad Lukowich walked out on the team following a 3–2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. Lukowich was terminated "with cause" days later; the team hit new lows by scoring a franchise-low 171 goals, allowing 358 goals and earned notoriety by losing two games by a combined score of 22–0. The team capped off the season on a 15-game losing streak, finishing the year at 12–55–2–3 with 29 points, the League's lowest point total, placing them in last place in the entire WHL; the 12 wins and 29 points set records for fewest wins and fewest points in the 26-year history of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, the 46-year history of the franchise that began as the Winnipeg Jets.
In recent years, the community-owned franchise has faced serious financial problems, which came to light during the 2013–14 season. The team lost upwards of $1.25 million in a two-year period and has gone as far as having to scale back on their marketing campaigns and player accommodations on road trips. In March 2014, the team revealed it had to take out a line of credit in order to meet financial goals; the financial situation of the team has led to internet rumours of the team being sold to True North Sports and Entertainment and relocated to Winnipeg, while former Hurricanes forward and Lethbridge native Kris Versteeg has publicly stated his desire to purchase the team and keep it in the city. As the losses continued to pile up and the fan interest waning, the team fired Head Coach Drake Berehowsky on December 9 and General Manager Brad Robson on December 10, hired former Prince Albert Raiders Head Coach Peter Anholt to both positions that day. Anholt stepped down as coach, but stayed on as general manager, hired 33 year old Brent Kisio away from the Calgary Hitmen as the team's new head coach.
Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime losses, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against 1989–90: Loss, 1-4 vs Kamloops 1990–91: Loss, 0-4 vs Spokane 1996–97: Win, 4-0 vs Seattle 2007–08: Loss, 0-4 vs Spokane List of ice hockey teams in Alberta Western Hockey League website 2005–06 WHL Guide Lethbridge Hurricanes site
St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues are a professional ice hockey team in St. Louis, Missouri, they are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League. The Blues play their home games at the 19,150-seat Enterprise Center in downtown St. Louis. Enterprise Center is the second home arena of the Blues, with the team first playing at St. Louis Arena from 1967 to 1994; the team is named after the famous W. C. Handy song "Saint Louis Blues"; the franchise was founded in 1967 as an expansion team during the league's 1967 NHL Expansion, which expanded the NHL from 6 teams to 12. The Blues are the oldest active NHL team never to have won the Stanley Cup, although they played in the Stanley Cup Finals three times, in 1968, 1969 and 1970; the Blues share a rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks, contesting the same division since 1970. The team has two minor league affiliates: the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League and the Tulsa Oilers of the ECHL; the Blues were one of the six teams added to the NHL in the 1967 expansion, along with the Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, California Seals.
St. Louis was the last of the six expansion teams to gain entry into the League; the Black Hawks' owners, James D. Norris and Arthur Wirtz owned the decrepit St. Louis Arena, they sought to unload the arena, which had not been well-maintained since the 1940s, thus pressed the NHL to give the franchise to St. Louis, which had not submitted a formal expansion bid. NHL president Clarence Campbell said during the 1967 expansion meetings, "We want a team in St. Louis because of the city's geographical location and the fact that it has an adequate building."The team's first owners were insurance tycoon Sid Salomon Jr. his son, Sid Salomon III, Robert L. Wolfson, who were granted the franchise in 1966. Sid Salomon III convinced his wary father to make a bid for the team. Former St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial and Musial's business partner Julius "Biggie" Garagnani were members of the 16-man investment group that made the initial formal application for the franchise. Garagnani would never see the Blues franchise take the ice, as he died from a heart attack on June 19, 1967, less than three months before the Blues played their first preseason game.
Upon acquiring the franchise in 1966, Salomon spent several million dollars on extensive renovations for the 38-year-old arena, which increased the number of seats from 12,000 to 15,000. The Blues were coached by Lynn Patrick, who resigned in late November after recording a 4–13–2 record, he was replaced by assistant coach Scotty Bowman, who thereafter led the team to a winning record for the rest of the season. Although the League's rules kept star players with the original six teams, the Blues managed to stand out in the inferior Western Division. Capitalizing on a playoff format that required an expansion team to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Blues reached the Stanley Cup Finals in each of their first three seasons, though they were swept first by the Montreal Canadiens in 1968 and 1969 by the Boston Bruins in 1970. While the first Blues teams included aging and fading veterans like Doug Harvey, Don McKenney and Dickie Moore, the goaltending tandem of veterans Glenn Hall and Jacques Plante proved more durable, winning a Vezina Trophy in 1969 behind a sterling defense that featured players like skilled defensive forward Jim Roberts, team captain Al Arbour and hardrock brothers Bob and Barclay Plager.
Phil Goyette won the Lady Byng Trophy for the Blues in 1970 and New York Rangers castoff Red Berenson became the expansion team's first major star at center. The arena became one of the loudest buildings in the NHL, a reputation it maintained throughout its tenure as the Blues' home. During that time, Salomon gained a reputation throughout the NHL as the top players' owner, he gave his players cars, signed them to deferred contracts and treated them to vacations in Florida. The players, used to being treated like mere commodities, felt the only way they could pay him back was to give their best on the ice every night; the Blues' successes in the late 1960s, did not continue into the 1970s, as the Stanley Cup playoff format changed and the Chicago Black Hawks were moved into the Western Division. The Blues lost Bowman, who joined the Montreal Canadiens following a power-sharing dispute with Sid Salomon III, as well as Hall, Plante and Berenson, who were all lost to retirement or trade; the Berenson trade, did bring then-Detroit Red Wings star center Garry Unger, who scored 30 goals in eight consecutive seasons while breaking the NHL's consecutive games played record.
Defensively, the Blues were less than stellar and saw Chicago and the Philadelphia Flyers overtake the Division. After missing the playoffs for the first time in 1973–74, the Blues ended up in the Smythe Division after a League realignment; this division was weak, in 1976–77, the Blues won it while finishing five games below.500, though this would be their last playoff appearance in the decade. In the meantime, the franchise was on the brink of financial collapse; this was due to the pressures of the World Hockey Association, but the result of financial decisions made when the Salomons first acquired the franchise. Deferred contracts came due. At one point, the Salomons cut the team's staff down to three employees. One of them was Emile Francis, who served as team president, general manager and head coach, who convinced then-chairman R. Hal Dean of the St. Louis