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Bob Plager takes Stanley Cup to brother's final resting place

Barclay Plager played 10 seasons with the Blues, later served as club's head coach

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

Summer with the Champs: Plager

Plager shares Cup with families of Blues who passed

Bob Plager's day with the Cup included a visit to his brother Barclay's grave and a house party with families of former Blues who have passed

  • 02:53 •

ST. LOUIS - At Bellerive Gardens Cemetery, a blue and gold flag bearing the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup Champions logo flaps gently in the wind and marks the spot where Barclay Plager is buried.

Melissa Briggs, the daughter of Blues legend Bob Plager, placed the flag there back in June to let her uncle know that the Blues - the team both Bob and Barclay cherished so much and always represented with such pride - had finally done it.

On Sunday evening, Bob returned to visit his brother for the first time in awhile. And this time, he brought the Stanley Cup.

"I thought about him a lot," Bob said of Barclay following the Blues' Game 7 victory against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. "Barc and Jimmy Roberts and Al Arbour, the Solomons, there are so many Blues up there enjoying this. If you think we're going to party down here, they're partying up there, too."

You won't find many people the Blues' Stanley Cup title has more meaning to than the Plagers.

Bob joined the team in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft and was in the lineup for the club's inaugural season in 1967-68. He would play 11 seasons with the Blues before retiring as a player in 1978, but he was so loyal to the Blue Note he never moved back home to Kirkland Lake, Ontario, instead choosing to live in St. Louis and remain close to the team.

Barclay played 10 seasons with the Blues from 1967-77 and remained with the organization after his retirement as a player in various roles, including two stints as a head coach, until he passed away in 1988 from a cancerous brain tumor.

Billy Plager, the youngest of the Plager brothers, played parts of four seasons with the Blues - more than any other team in his NHL career - and passed away more recently in 2016. He is buried in Peterborough, Ontario.

On Sunday, Bob was accompanied to the cemetery by his daughter, his grandchildren, Barclay's wife, Helen, and their children and grandchildren. Together, the family held a toast to Barclay and each sipped champagne from the Stanley Cup.

It was an emotional moment to be sure, one that was in stark contrast to the triumphant emotions Bob felt following Game 7 in Boston.

Not long after the last player took a lap with the trophy hoisted high above his head at TD Garden, the team gathered at center ice to witness a moment 52 years in the making. That's where Bob stood, already wearing his Blues Stanley Cup champions hat and taking it all in with tears welling up in his eyes. Bill Armstrong, the team's Assistant General Manager and Director of Amateur Scouting, brought the Stanley Cup to Bob and helped him lift it above his head. The players erupted into arguably one of the loudest cheers of the night at ice level - and that's saying something considering the elation they had shown immediately after the clock ran out on Game 7.

"Thank you," Bob told the team in that moment. "Thank you guys. I love you guys."

The only thing that might have made that moment more special is if Barclay and Billy had been there to hoist the Cup with him.

Video: Plager mic'd up as Blues win Stanley Cup

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