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Blues to retire Plager's No. 5

Bob Plager's jersey will be retired on Feb. 2 vs. Toronto

by Dan O'Neill / St. Louis Blues

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ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Blues announced today they will retire No. 5 in honor of Bob Plager.

Plager, who was acquired by the Blues on June 6, 1967 and has been with the organization for all 50 years, will become the seventh player in Blues history to have his number retired, joining No. 2 Al MacInnis, No. 3 Bob Gassoff, No. 11 Brian Sutter, No. 16 Brett Hull, No. 24 Bernie Federko and his brother, No. 8 Barclay Plager.

Bob and Barclay Plager join Maurice and Henri Richard (Montreal Canadiens) as the only brothers to have their numbers retired by the same team in NHL history.

Fans will have their first chance to congratulate Plager on Saturday night when the Blues recognize him during the first period of their game against the Los Angeles Kings.

The official banner raising ceremony will take place on Thursday, Feb. 2 when the Blues host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scottrade Center.

A No. 5 banner, shadowed by a Blue heart, originally ascended to the rafters of Scottrade Center when the Blues honored Plager for his franchise-long commitment and service to the team both on and off the ice. The original banner paid homage to one of Plager's favorite sayings: "No. 5 in your programs, No. 1 in your hearts."

 Video: Bob Plager gets a big surprise

The No. 5 jersey, however, was never officially retired and was most recently worn proudly by Barret Jackman. Now, the Blues will place Plager's name and the official No. 5 banner in its proper position alongside the most legendary players in Blues history.

For 50 years, Plager has given himself completely and selflessly to the St. Louis Blues organization on and off the ice. As a player, he was known for his sturdy defensive play, his tenacious competitive spirit and his famous hip checks. He originally joined the Blues from the New York Rangers in 1967. In 10 seasons with the Blues, Plager racked up 615 regular season games, 141 points and 762 penalty minutes. He retired from the NHL following the 1977-78 season, and since, he has held several positions with the organization, including head coach, director of professional scouting and vice president and director of player development. He also served as head coach of the Peoria Rivermen in 1990-91 and captured the 1991 Turner Cup.

Throughout his career, Bobby has been an ambassador for not only St. Louis and the Blues, but the NHL and the game of hockey as a whole. At the dawn of the franchise, he was responsible for developing the identity of the Blues on the ice and for half a century, he has helped cultivate an unbreakable bond between the team and the St. Louis community. Today, he continues to represent the organization with unwavering pride and passion, showing players and fans alike what it means to be a Blue.

Don't miss your chance to witness history. Purchase tickets for the Feb. 2 game vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Scottrade Center Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com.

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