ST. LOUIS - It's Game 3 of the 1998 Western Conference Quarterfinals. The Blues have a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series but trail 3-0 in Game 4 with just one period to play. That's when Blues forward Geoff Courtnall races in to contest the puck and collides hard with Kings' goalie Jamie Storr, who is shaken up on the play. Storr would allow four goals in the period and the Blues would sweep the series, which would go down as one of the most talked about moments in Blues history.
Although a classic memory, that's not the only impact Courtnall made during his five-year stint in St. Louis. The winger, known for his speed and physicality, played in two different stints with the Blues, tallying 106 goals and 126 assists while wearing the Blue Note.
We caught up with Courtnall from his home in Victoria, British Columbia, to reflect on his time in St. Louis and find out what he's up to now.
ST. LOUIS BLUES: Do you have a favorite memory as a Blue?
COURTNALL: Well I have lots of great memories in St. Louis, but I think the playoff run we had in 1998 is best. Especially that game beating the Kings, because that caused a lot of controversy. Every time I'm in St. Louis, people still ask me about that game. That was a great moment.
BLUES: Do you still keep up with the team?
COURTNALL: Yeah, I definitely try to go to games whenever the Blues play (in Vancouver). Anytime I get a chance to see them play, I watch.
BLUES: You played during a classic Blues era. Did anything stand out to you about the St. Louis fan base?
COURTNALL: I think that St. Louis is an amazing sports town, and the fans really back their teams. They offered a lot of support while I was there, and I think we had a good team, so it was good to give them something to cheer about. I come from a very beautiful place in Canada, but my family loved living in St. Louis. The people are great, it's a great place to raise a family and we miss it. We try to get back there any chance we can.
BLUES: What are you up to now?
COURTNALL: I'm back in Victoria, and I'm involved in the real estate business. I've built houses and bought buildings in my hometown. The market is really taking off here, so it's been a lot of fun. The biggest difference now is I travel when I want to, and try not to work too hard. I just do what makes me happy.
BLUES: Since retiring, you've done a lot of philanthropy work. What causes and organizations mean the most to you?
COURTNALL: I do a lot of work for mental health, because my dad committed suicide when I was 15. When I came back to my hometown that was one of the biggest problems we had. So, we built an emergency mental health facility and a mental health ward in the hospital. It's funny… a few weeks ago I was walking with a friend and a man who was probably 60 came up to me crying, thanking me for saving his son's life. I get more out of that now than people telling me what a great career I had.