Bobby Plager Death – Robert Bryant Plager, Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who played in the National Hockey League for 14 seasons from 1964 until 1978, primarily for the St. Louis Blues has passed away. He died on Wednesday March 24, 2021 following a fatal car accident. Plager has spent over half a century with the Blues organization in various capacities.
The accident happened along eastbound Interstate 64 near Vandeventer. Police said the crash involved two vehicles. Plager was rushed to a hospital, where he died. A woman in the other vehicle was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. It’s not known what led to the crash.
The Blues have not confirmed Plager was involved in the accident, however the license plates on the vehicle are registered in his name.
Plager, who was 78, spent more than 50 years as part of the St. Louis Blues organization. He began his career with the team in 1967, and played 14 season as a defenseman. During that time he played with his brothers Barclay and Billy, and the trio helped lead the Blues to the Stanley Cup finals in three consecutive seasons. Barclay died in 1988, and Bill died in 2016.
After retiring in 1978, Plager joined the Blues front office, and is often said to have developed advanced scouting techniques for the franchise. In 1990, he coached a Blues affiliate to a minor league championship and won coach of the year, and was named as the Blues’ head coach in 1992. He resigned after just 11 games, choosing instead to return to his role of vice president of player development.
Plager grew up in Kirkland Lake, Ontario in a hockey family. His father was the chief official in the Northern Ontario Hockey Association. Plager played junior hockey with the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters and the Guelph Royals. Known for his aggressive, highly physical play, Plager broke what was then the Ontario Hockey Association record for penalty minutes in a season in 1961-62.
He signed a professional contract with the New York Rangers in 1964 but only played 29 games with this club over the next three years, spending most of his time with the minor league Baltimore Clippers. The NHL’s expansion gave Plager his chance to become an NHL regular; he was traded to St. Louis with Gary Sabourin, Tim Ecclestone and Gord Kannegiesser for Rod Seiling on June 6, 1967
Plager’s brothers, Bill and Barclay, also played in the NHL, including all three together for four seasons with the St. Louis Blues.