The night started well. St. Louis welcomed back one of its biggest legends before its hockey game with the Red Wings. Brett Hull returned to the Scottrade Center where he played 11 seasons of his 19-year career to have his No. 16 jersey retired and lifted to the rafters.
Hull was applauded by the sellout crowd during his 16 minute pregame speech. Golden Brett thanked almost everyone he came across during his playing career.
“I had no idea that it was going to be this difficult,” said an emotional Hull. “You are the greatest people, and I feel very privileged to standing here in front of you… Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to retire here, but I can tell you what… my heart never left here.”
Several of Hull’s former Blues teammates spoke about the good times playing along side one of the best right wingers the NHL has ever seen. Adam Oates, who made some amazing plays as Hull’s line partner, received a standing ovation when he stepped to the podium.
Oates only spent three seasons in St. Louis with Hull, “but Brett, nothing compares to the three years I got to play with you.”
Once the ceremony was over, the night pretty much went all downhill for Blues fans. Pavel Datsyuk broke out of a slump with his first goal in 16 games and added an assist in the Red Wings 5-1 win. Henrik Zetterberg scored his team-leading ninth goal just 2:34 into the game. His second goal of the game two minutes later gave Detroit a 2-0 lead early. Blues goalie Manny Legace, starting in place of the injured Curtis Sanford, was taken out of the game in the first period after Daniel Cleary’s goal made it 3-0.
Eric Brewer’s first goal of the season was the lone score for the Blues who have lost five straight.