A happy “Original Blue”
by Christian Pierre|30 JUL 2019
Norm Beaudin as a player and today with the glass he got over 51 years ago after the first game in St. Louis Blues history.
photo: Beaudin Archives, O - Pee-Chee / Hockey Hall of Fame
St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington may have been the stronghold of the brand-new Stanley Cup winners, but it is quite possible that the Blues received some extra help from a friend... from Original Blues player Norm Beaudin.

Norm Beaudin is an ‘Original Blue’. The St. Louis Blues were one of the six new teams when the NHL expanded in 1967 and Beaudin was the 13th player the Blues picked in the massive expansion draft for six new teams. The 1967/68 season was therefore the inaugural season for the Blues.

Norm was also an ‘Original Jet’ afterwards, one of the line mates of Bobby Hull when the Winnipeg Jets were affiliated with the World Hockey Association, at that time the so-called rebel league competing with the NHL for hockey supremacy in North America.

Beaudin played 309 games in the WHA (1972-76). The Canadian from Montmartre, Saskatchewan, is one of nine Winnipeg Jets of all-time to surpass 100 points in a season. He was an WHA All-Star and also held a Playoff Scoring record of 28 points in 1973. Prior to his WHA years, he played 25 games in the National Hockey League for the St. Louis Blues (1967/68) and the Minnesota North Stars (1970/71). He ended his professional career in the late ‘70s in Switzerland.

There’s a gift that Beaudin has always kept with him from his times in St. Louis.

"As long as I remember, the St. Louis Blues glassware has been a fixture in the Beaudin household," Greg Beaudin, one of Norm's sons says. "My father has a fine mix of ice hockey memorabilia that reflects his professional career and the Blues glassware is always prominent, proudly on display for stories to be unfolded and recounted."

In 2017, the NHL club celebrated the 50th anniversary of its very first game and the owners invited the original line-up to a special ceremony in St. Louis, with Bob Plager, Bill McCreary, Larry Keenan, Fred Hucul and of course Norm Beaudin being honoured as original Blues, 50 years after that opening night game.

“It's small acts like that, that define a franchise and build loyalty across the Alumni,” Norm Beaudin reflects. "It was an honour to be invited to St. Louis to celebrate 50 Years of Blues history, and since then, it's renewed my love for St. Louis and the Blues, and now that they have finally won the Cup, it's a very happy feeling, knowing that I was a part of something extra special on the night of 11 October 1967." 

To commemorate that very first game, the players at that time received the St. Louis Blues glassware.

“I have owned that glassware for over 51 years now, and - can you believe it - I had never really used it. Until that evening during Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals... We decided to christen them as an act of good luck for my old team to toast with the Blues glasses for a victorious outcome! And look at the result... It worked... and man it feels great!" the excited hockey veteran said. “We all bleed blue. Thanks to the St. Louis Blues, Bob Plager, Tom Stillman and guys like Brett Hull and Kelly Chase for making even us old originals feel like we are still part of the team.”

“It's amazing that such a great hockey city like St. Louis is now a Stanley Cup champion, I was there just weeks before with a hockey school and the hockey community in St. Louis has a rich history, with today also a growing and skilled youth hockey movement. Blues fans deserve this,” son Greg added.

As a 77-year-old Norm Beaudin remains active on and off the ice. He currently resides in Vancouver, and he has an occasional hockey team ‘The Beaudin Pond Kings’, composed of family members, children and grandchildren, cousins with which he collects funds for charity.

Norm occasional still plays ice hockey at least twice a week and keeps up with guys half his age. He is currently working on a book about his hockey memoires: ‘A True Original’.

And oh yeah, he still has some untouched Winnipeg Jets glassware, waiting for the right moment. Because you never know...
Although 77 years old, Norm Beaudin still plays hockey regularly
photo: Beaudin Archives