In a very touching ceremony celebrating the careers and lives of two players that wore the Note. The St Louis Blues got is right again with John Kelly MCing the event. Former players Al MacInnis, Brett Hull, Keith Tkachuk, Geoff Courtnall, Marc Bergevin, Rick Zombo, Kelly Chase, Tony Twist, Scott Mellanby, Curtis Joseph, Scott Young, Barclay Plager and employees that worked with the two fallen stars showed up in support of Korolev’s wife and two kids that were able to make it tonight. The widow of Korolev and his two daughters both of whom were born in St Louis during his time here, were presented by Brett Hull and photo and custom jersey in token of their appreciation. Now with Demitra’s family not in attendance at the game Geoff Courtnall accepted the same style picture and jersey on behalf of the family. The widow of Demitra did send a note for John Kelly to read. “St. Louis was like a home for Pavol and me,” Maja Demitra wrotes. “We spent seven beautiful years there. (Pavol) used to say that his best NHL years were in St. Louis because everything was just perfect…the organization, the fans, the players and their families.”
Brett Hull was the first player to speak about Igor Korolev. He reminisced when Korolev was a rookie, and how eager he was to learn North American culture and the North American style of hockey. He remembered how great of a person and teammate Igor was. Hull showed his gratitude for having known such a person by speaking in russian for his fallen comrade.
The last player to speak was Big Walt, Keith Tkachuk. Tkachuk was a favorite line mate of Demitra, and one of Demitra’s closest friends. He spoke on the type of person Demitra was. A charitble, loving father, and loving husband. Demitra who basically ranks fifth all time in Blues history in all offensive categories.
My wife happened to ask me why it took this long for the Blues to do the ceremony, and my answer is that Demitra and Korolev have ties with the Blackhawks. Coach Joel Quennville was Demitra’s coach during his time as a Blue, Mike Kitchen coached Korolev, and Marian Hossa was Demitra’s best friend. Hossa has honored Demitra with a 38 sticker on his holders on his skates. Halak also has a tribute on the back of his mask for his fallen country men.