The Blues joined the NHL in 1967 as part of the original expansion of the League from six to 12 teams. They joined the Minnesota North Stars, the Los Angeles Kings
, the Philadelphia Flyers
, the Pittsburgh Penguins
and the California Seals.
The Blues enjoyed early success as they reached the Stanley Cup Final in the first three seasons out of the expansion bracket. The 1970s saw the Blues fall on harder times, but that didn’t keep fans away. The St. Louis Arena was dubbed one of the loudest in the NHL during the team’s tenure.
Throughout the 1980s and '90s the team landed some big name players such as Brett Hull
, Adam Oates
, Brendan Shanahan
and Al MacInnis
. The team began a streak of 25 straight postseason appearances, but never made it back to the Stanley Cup Final.
During the 1995-96 season, new GM and coach Mike Keenan traded away fan favorites Shanahan and goalie Curtis Joseph
and acquired the legendary Wayne Gretzky
and goalie Grant Fuhr
. The Blues made it to overtime of Game 7 against the Red Wings before bowing out in a second-round series.
The height of the Blues playoff success came in 2001 when they made it to the Western Conference Finals against the Colorado Avalanche
. They bowed out in five games to the eventual Cup winners.
The past few years have been a rebuilding process for St. Louis and with a core of young talent acquired through the draft, the Blues have a bright future.