Blues announce passing of Jimmy Roberts, the original Blue

Jimmy Roberts, the first player drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 1967 expansion draft, has passed away, the Blues announced Friday. He was 75.

The Blues released the following statement on the passing of Roberts, the "original Blue":

"The St. Louis Blues and the Blues Alumni organization are deeply saddened by the passing of the original Blue, Jimmy Roberts. Jimmy was the franchise’s first-ever draft pick and was instrumental in building the foundation of Blues hockey as a player, and upholding its tradition as an alumnus. His tireless contributions to St. Louis, the Blues and the game of hockey as a whole will forever live as an example for future generations to follow. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Judy, and their two daughters, Vicky and Corri."

Roberts was a three-time NHL All-Star. He led the Blues to the Stanley Cup Finals in each of their first three seasons and made 10 career trips to the Finals overall, winning five times with the Montreal Canadiens (1965, 1966, 1973, 1976, 1977).

Overall, he dressed in 1,159 career NHL games (including playoffs), including 447 with the Blues, before retiring in St. Louis after the 1977-78 season.

After his playing career, Roberts crafted a 20-year career behind the bench, including head coach of the Blues in 1996-97 and as an assistant from 1996-2002. He also had NHL coaching stints in Buffalo (1979-83), Pittsburgh (1984-87) and Hartford (1991-92). He was an AHL Coach of the Year winner (1989-90) and two-time Calder Cup champion with the Springfield Indians (1990, 1991).