There were many stories and factors in each and every Blues player who participated in the Stanley Cup Finals series. Each of them have their own unique and heartwarming spark in their game to help them succeed, and eventually lift up the most decorated trophy in hockey, the Stanley Cup. If you listened to episode 17 of The “End to End Puck Talk Podcast” with Andrew Flegar and I, we talked about each individual player’s backstory in winning the Cup.
#4 Carl Gunnarsson:
After facing the painful loss in Game 7 at TD Garden back in 2013 with the Maple Leafs, Gunnarsson threw that thought straight out the window and scored the Game 2 OT goal vs the Bruins for his first career goal in the postseason and gave the Blues franchise their first ever win in the Stanley Cup Finals.
#6 Joel Edmundson:
Edmundson was chosen in the sixth round, 121st overall, of the 2008 (WHL) Bantam Draft by the Moose Jaw Warriors and then was selected in the second round, 46th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Never playing a whole season in the NHL, Edmundson now has his name engraved on the Stanley Cup.
#7 Pat Maroon:
Took a pay cut and signed with the Blues on July 10 to be closer with his son Anthony. He also scored the OT Game 7 goal against the Dallas Stars to advance to the third round.
#9 Sammy Blais:
Missed the Blues final cut in 2017 and was reassigned to the San Antonio Rampage. The next season on May 5, 2019, he suited up for his first ever playoff game and scored his first NHL playoff goal in a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars.
#10 Brayden Schenn:
After a career year last season in his first year with the Blues, Schenn struggled this year with buying goals but ultimately scored an important one in Game 7 of the Finals.
#12 Zach Sanford:
Traded from the Capitals to the Blues in 2017, Sanford won the Stanley Cup against his hometown team, the Boston Bruins, and scored the fourth goal in Game 7 for his first career playoff goal.
#15 Robby Fabbri:
A Mississauga native, Fabbri started off his NHL career with bang, scoring his first NHL goal in his first ever game vs the Oilers. The following year is where things weren’t so bright for the young star. He suffered a torn ACL on his left knee and was out for the remainder of the 2016-17 regular season. The following season at training camp, re-injured his left knee, subsequently missing the entire season. Now Fabbri has turned all the pain into a Stanley Cup.
#17 Jaden Schwartz:
Losing his sister Mandi to cancer back in 2011 and struggling all year long, Schwartz battled back and became the Blues leading goal scorer in the playoffs.
#18 Robert Thomas:
Winning the U-17 World Championships, 2016 and 2018 OHL Championship, 2016 Memorial Cup, 2018 World Junior Championship, he brought quite the resume to the team as the Blues youngest player in the playoffs.
#19 Jay Boumeester:
Drafted third overall back in 2002 by the Panthers, his journey to the Stanley Cup Playoffs came in his first year with the Blues back in 2013. He’s been knocked down for being old, slow, and never point producing at the NHL level, but he’s been a calm leader for the Blues in their big run.
#20 Alex Steen:
The 35-year-old Swede was traded early in his career to the Blues from the Maple Leafs and made himself into a true leader and core piece of the Blues team for 11 seasons.
#21 Tyler Bozak:
After nine tough, scrutinizing seasons with the Maple Leafs, Bozak signed a contract with the St. Louis Blues on July 1, 2018, which was the best decision of his NHL career.
#27 Alex Pietrangelo:
Pietrangelo was born and raised in King City, Ontario, where his childhood was shocked because as a child, Pietrangelo’s friend died of cancer. As an adult, his niece was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor, but survived. Tragic news two seasons ago, in June 2017, he and his wife lost a son due to complications with the pregnancy, but then heartwarming news last year came when the couple both gave birth to triplets in July 2018. To the hockey side of things, he was named captain of the Blues in 2016, rumored to be dealt to his hometown team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, in December of 2018 due to his lack of play. In the playoffs, he brought the Blues team together and went on a huge run where he led the Blues D-core in points in the playoffs.
#29 Vince Dunn:
He played in St. Louis’ first 16 playoff games, and had been sidelined for taking a puck in the face in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Sharks, but ended up playing the Blues final four games to win the cup at age 22.
#41 Robert Bortuzzo:
During a Blues practice on December 10, 2018, Bortuzzo fought teammate Zach Sanford when the Blues were going through a tough stretch of games. Months later, both would become Stanley Cup Champions.
#49 Ivan Barbashev:
After being selected 33rd overall in the 2014 draft by the Blues, a month later in July of 2014, he was married at the age of 19. Barbashev years later would become a huge part of the Blues fourth line with his ability to hit, grind and create offensive chances.
#50 Jordan Binnington:
From Richmond Hill and Toronto, Ontario, he was basically an unknown player since the 2013 World Juniors until now. He was called up by the Blues in January, where he went on a complete heater and paved the way for the Blues to the playoffs and then a Stanley Cup Championship.
#55 Colton Parayko:
A smart, young kid, Parayko has a degree in business and was very close with another great story for the Blues. Laila Anderson, a Blues superfan with a rare disease hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), helped Paryko and the Blues throughout the run which made him stronger and better as a player and was a huge factor for the Blues D-core.
#57 David Perron:
After losing in the Finals last year with Vegas, he got the chance to have his third stint with the St. Louis Blues. Perron recorded 46 points in 57 games this season and was a big impact in winning his first ever Cup.
#70 Oskar Sundqvist:
Already winning a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016, Sundqvist brought his larger frame and deceptive shot with him to the Blues. After beginning the season as a victim of a Tom Wilson headshot — in which he got suspended 20 games — Sundqvist was also a big part in the Blues fourth line all year.
#90 Ryan O’Reilly:
He was charged with impaired driving following an incident when the truck he was driving was involved in a motor vehicle accident at a Tim Hortons drive-thru back in 2015. Last season he “fell out of love” with the sport of ice hockey after another losing year in his career. He was traded to the Blues on July 1, 2018, and thus emerging as the Blues best player in the regular season and playoffs by winning the Conn Smythe award and his first Stanley Cup.
#91 Vladimir Tarasenko:
Coming into the league as a 21-year-old, Tarasenko was always known on the ice as being a sniper, but off the ice he was a young, great father. Having an 11-year-old son, 3-year-old son, and a newborn which was born June 7, 2019, it gave the Russian lots of motivation to win the Cup for the three of them in his life.
The St. Louis Blues are the 2019 Stanley Cup Champions, but seeing and hearing all the ways each one of the Blues players got to where they are today is extraordinary in it’s own and unlike any past winner of the Cup.