July 5, 2015

Pronger, an All-Star in eight of his nine seasons with the Blues, selected to Hockey’s Hall of Fame

Chris Pronger (photo/NHL)

Chris Pronger (photo/NHL)

Defenseman Chris Pronger, who spent half of his NHL career with the Blues, winning the league’s MVP award in 2000, was selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday. Pronger was chosen in his first season of eligibility. He was an All-Star in eight of his nine seasons wearing the Blue Note.

Pronger is the only defenseman other than Bobby Orr to win the Hart Trophy and Norris Trophy in the same season, in 2000. He played 1,167 games in 18 NHL seasons starting with the Hartford Whalers, then St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers.

Pronger won the 1997 World Championship with Canada, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and won the Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Ducks; He also won gold at the 1993 World Junior Championship and reach the Cup Final with the Oilers in 2006 and the Flyers in 2010.

Pronger averaged more than 30 minutes per game in two seasons for the Blues, and more than 25 minutes per game in every full season he played from 1998-99 to 2009-10.

 

Puck drops Thursday, October 8th. Blues open the 2015-16 season at home against the Edmonton Oilers

St. Louis Blues Patrik Berglund of Sweden (21) celebrates his third period goal with teammates against the San Jose Sharks at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on January 8, 2015.   Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

St. Louis Blues Patrik Berglund of Sweden (21) celebrates his third period goal with teammates against the San Jose Sharks at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on January 8, 2015. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

OCTOBER 2015
Thursday, Oct. 8 vs. Edmonton Oilers – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 10 at Minnesota Wild – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 13 at Calgary Flames – 8 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 15 at Edmonton Oilers – 9 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 16 at Vancouver Canucks – 9 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 18 at Winnipeg Jets – 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 20 at Montreal Canadiens – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 24 vs. New York Islanders – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 27 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning – 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 29 vs. Anaheim Ducks – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 31 vs. Minnesota Wild – 7 p.m.

NOVEMBER 2015
Tuesday, Nov. 3 vs. Los Angeles Kings – 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Chicago Blackhawks – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 7 at Nashville Predators – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 10 at New Jersey Devils – 6 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 12 at New York Rangers – 6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 14 vs. Chicago Blackhawks – 7 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 16 vs. Winnipeg Jets – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 17 at Columbus Blue Jackets – 6 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 19 vs. Buffalo Sabres – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 21 vs. Detroit Red Wings – 7 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 23 at Buffalo Sabres – 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 25 at Pittsburgh Penguins – 6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 28 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets – 7 p.m.

DECEMBER 2015
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Allen and Tarasenko honored at the NHL Awards Show. Two players the Blues can build their future around

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko of Russia skates down the ice against the Minnesota Wild in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 11, 2015. Takasenko returns to the lineup after missing five games with a lower body injury.    Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

St. Louis Blues Vladimir Tarasenko of Russia skates down the ice against the Minnesota Wild in the first period at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on April 11, 2015. . Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko was named a 2014-15 Second-Team All-Star at the NHL Awards banquet in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Blues goalie Jake Allen was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie team.

Tarasenko, 23, tied for 10th in the NHL overall with 73 points, fifth with 37 goals and was the youngest Blues player to record a 30-goal season since Brendan Shanahan in 1991-92.   He also made his first career NHL All-Star Game appearance in January in Columbus.

Allen, 24, posted a 22-7-4 record with a 2.28 goals-against average, a .913 save-percentage and four shutouts in 37 appearances last season. He led all rookie goaltenders in wins and shutouts, becoming the second player in Blues history to lead the NHL in wins (Mike Liut – 1979-80).

Allen also tied a Blues rookie record for shutouts.

St. Louis native Ben Bishop finished Stanley Cup Playoffs with a groin tear. An injury that would usually cost a player at least two-weeks

Ben Bishop blocks a puck away during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. (photo/NHL.com)

Ben Bishop blocks a puck away during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. (photo/NHL.com)

Ben Bishop, who grew up in St. Louis and was drafted by the Blues in 2005,  played through a tear in his right groin and came up just short in his quest for a Stanley Cup Championship as the Tampa Bay Lightning were eliminated in the Finals in Game Six by a 2-1 final at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Bishop said if it was during the regular season, he would have missed at least two weeks, but when players aren’t sure when this opportunity will come along again, the 6’7 netminder needed to try to play through the pain.  Bishop admitted his mobility was limited.

“You want to play the game, no matter what. I barely got through Game 3, and I didn’t want to go out there and then be gone for the rest of the series,” said Bishop.

Bishop was injured during Game 2 and missed part of the third period in which his backup Andrei Vasilevsky actually picked up the win, when Tampa Bay scored the winning goal while Vasilevsky was on the ice and Bishop was in the dressing room tending to his injury.  Bishop played in Game 3 but was scratched from Game 4 in an attempt to get extra rest. He returned for the last two games and allowed two goals in each, while stopping several good scoring opportunities in both games.

 

Bishop was tied for the league lead with 13 playoff wins and three shutouts.  He also became the first goalie in NHL history to record victories in his first two-game seven appearances.  Bishop beat Detroit in the opening round in and the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The New York Islanders partner up with a Missouri hockey team. Mavericks agree to become a minor league affiliate for the NHL club

Missouri Mavericks are lining up with the New York Islanders. (photo/missourimavericks.com)

Missouri Mavericks are lining up with the New York Islanders. (photo/missourimavericks.com)

The Missouri Mavericks announced Thursday afternoon that they have reached an affiliation agreement with the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL) for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.  Missouri joins the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League (AHL) as the Islanders primary minor league affiliates.

“One of the major priorities that we identified while going through the due diligence process on the purchase of the Mavs was to strengthen our affiliation in the world of professional hockey,” said Lamar Hunt Jr, President & Owner of the Missouri Mavericks.  “We are excited for the players and the fans as we bring a whole new level of professional hockey to Independence Events Center, paired up with an organization that has been built through its development to become a perennial playoff contender.”

This agreement marks the first time in franchise history that the Mavericks will be a part of a formal affiliation with an NHL team.  The Mavs held previous one-year agreements with the AHL Chicago Wolves during the 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

“We are excited to partner with the Missouri Mavericks as our new ECHL affiliate,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “The Mavericks are a highly-regarded organization with a high-end coaching staff that’s capable of developing players from the ECHL, to the AHL, and eventually to the New York Islanders.”

Missouri’s new affiliation agreement includes integration into the Islanders scouting system, strength and conditioning programs, and training camps.

The Mavericks celebrate a goal this past season in Independence (photo/missourimavericks.com)

The Mavericks celebrate a goal this past season in Independence (photo/missourimavericks.com)

“The Mavericks are thrilled to be affiliating with a first-class organization in the New York Islanders,” said Brent Thiessen, General Manager of the Missouri Mavericks. “We are excited to develop their prospects and work closely with the team moving forward.”

“Today is an important day for the Mavericks, solidifying a strong NHL affiliation with a storied and proven franchise ensures we will have some of the best hockey talent available showcased at the IEC on a nightly basis,” said Thiessen. “Our fans will see NHL prospects that graduate to Bridgeport of the American Hockey League and hopefully to the New York Islanders at the NHL level.”

Several Islanders prospects saw time in the ECHL last season, including former second-round pick Sebastien Collberg, third-rounder Loic Leduc and seventh-rounder Lukas Sutter.  Three Islanders players that finished the 2014-15 season with the team who spent a portion of their careers in the ECHL include Eric Boulton, Colin McDonald and Kael Mouillierat.

The Mavericks begin their 2015-16 campaign on the road in Anchorage, Alaska for their first-ever matchup against the Alaska Aces.  The Mavericks will play longtime rival, the Wichita Thunder, in their home-opener on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Independence Events Center.

History of the Mavericks:
Founded in 2009, the Mavericks are entering into their seventh season in franchise history at Independence Events Center. Missouri competed for five seasons in the (now defunct) Central Hockey League (CHL) before formally joining the ECHL on Oct. 7, 2014 ahead of their 2014-15 campaign. Lamar Hunt Jr. was announced as the new President and Owner of the Missouri Mavericks on Feb. 6, 2015.