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Bill Plager, former St. Louis Blues defenseman, dies

NHL.com @NHL

Bill Plager, one of three brothers who were defensemen with the St. Louis Blues in the late 1960s and 70s, has died at age 70.

"The St. Louis Blues and the Blues Alumni organization are deeply saddened by the passing of Billy Plager," the team said in a statement Sunday. "Along with his brothers Barclay and Bobby, Billy was a part of the beloved Plager brothers trio that played together with the Blues from 1968 to 1972. Billy spent more time with the Blues than any other franchise and engrained himself in the St. Louis community during his tenure.

"His tireless work ethic and dedication was influential in establishing the identity of the Blues during the early years of the organization. Our most heartfelt condolences go out to his brother Bobby and the entire Plager family."

Bill Plager played with the first-year Minnesota North Stars during the 1967-68 season, was claimed in the waiver draft by the New York Rangers on June 12, 1968, and then traded to the Blues one day later, joining older brothers Bob and Barclay. He played 127 regular-season games and 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Blues, helping St. Louis to the Final in 1969 and 1970. However, Bill struggled to get consistent playing time and was claimed by the Atlanta Flames in the 1972 expansion draft.

Plager had four goals, 38 points and 294 penalty minutes in 263 regular-season games, as well as two assists in 31 playoff games, before leaving the NHL in 1976. He retired from hockey one year later.

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