Details of the crash are unclear, but KMOV4 reports that it was a two-vehicle crash in St. Louis that sent Plager to the hospital where he died. A woman was also sent to hospital following the accident, but she was only treated for minor injuries.
Blue CEO Doug Armstrong made a statement shortly after the news of Plager’s death was announced.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Bobby Jr, Melissa and the entire Plager family,” Armstrong said. “As Bobby would affectionately say, he’s number five on your schedule, but number one in your hearts. This is true today, and forever because Bobby is truly the St. Louis Blues. ”
Plager was a hard-hitting defender who spent over 50 years with the Blues as a player, coach, scout and ambassador. His career on the ice began in 1964 and he played 14 seasons. Plager’s time on the Blues began in 1967 when he helped the Blues advance to three straight Stanley Cup Finals alongside his brothers, Barclay and Billy. Barclay died in 1988 and Bill died in 2016. He was known as a prankster during his time as a player, once taking a teammate’s false teeth and sending them to his home on a long trip on the road.
Plager joined the Blues front office after his retirement in 1978. In 1990 he led a minor league team from the Blues to a championship, then became the head coach of the Blues in 1992 where he resigned after 11 matches to return as vice president of player development. The franchise retired its jersey in 2017.