Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 
 

Unger Treasures Memories From His Time As A Blue

Tuesday, 01.30.2007 / 11:37 AM / St Louis Blues - Features
By Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues
X
Share with your Friends


Unger Treasures Memories From His Time As A Blue
If your grandparents told you that they had to climb mountains, swim across lakes and walk six miles to get to school everyday, chances are they were stretching the truth. At least a little bit.

Garry Unger’s story may be just as unbelievable, but his is completely true.

Unger set an iron man record by playing in 914 consecutive NHL games with Toronto, Detroit, St. Louis and Atlanta.

If you’re looking for his secret to staying healthy, stop. There is none. He played hurt.

“As long as it’s not a crippling injury where you can’t move, you hobble into the rink and your focus is on the injury,” Unger said recently. “Once the game starts, you focus on the puck.”

In fact, trainers filed 38 formal injury reports on Unger, including 16 contusions, 13 strains, two separate pulled rib muscles and a dislocated finger. But Unger never missed a game in nine seasons with the Blues.

He’ll be the first to tell you that he could not have done it alone.

Garry Unger quickly became a fan favorite after coming to St. Louis in a trade for another fan favorite, Red Berenson.
Unger credits his high pain tolerance and former Blues trainer Tommy Woodcock for helping him prepare for the daily rigors of NHL hockey. But more importantly, Unger drew motivation from his younger sister, who was diagnosed with polio and confined to a wheelchair.

“Growing up, I was out playing basketball and football and hockey and running around with the guys, and she could never get out of her chair,” he said. “I’d always think about her never being able to do anything about it. She motivated me a lot to not feel sorry for myself.”

Unger’s healthy lifestyle also played a big role in helping him claim the iron man record. He stayed away from drugs and alcohol.

“If you’re going make your living with your body, you should take care of it,” Unger said. “I didn’t want to miss a game. I never missed a day of school.”

But there’s more to the Edmonton, Alberta native than just the iron man record.

Unger also made seven consecutive All-Star appearances, an experience he is grateful for.

“To be able to represent the Blues at the All-Star game and be able to play in it, obviously it’s exciting,” he said.

Unger joined the Blues during the 1970-71 season in a trade for Red Berenson, the team’s top scorer and local fan favorite. But Unger, with his flowing blond hair, quickly became one of the most popular sports figures in town. He led the Blues in scoring in 1971-72, 72-73, 73-74, 74-75 and 77-78.

Soundbytes

Garry Unger:
return to St. Louis: 255 kb
memories as a Blue: 258 kb
current state of the Blues: 269 kb

In the 1974 All-Star game, Unger was named MVP for netting the game-winning goal and an assist.

Unger remained a Blue until Oct. 10, 1979 when he was traded to the Atlanta Flames for Ed Kea, Don Laurence and Atlanta’s second choice (Hakan Nordin) in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft.

Unger scored 292 goals and 283 assists (575 points) in 662 career games with the Blues.

“The thing about playing in St. Louis is that it was kind of like a family, a team. Everybody supported everybody,” he said. “Everybody in town supported the team. It was different from other places. St. Louis is a special place for me.”

Unger made the transition to coaching in 1989, taking a job with the Phoenix Roadrunners of the International Hockey League before moving on to coach the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League. While there, he led the Oilers to a championship in 1992-93, the CHL’s inaugural season.

Today, Unger works as a coach in the World Hockey Association in Vancouver.

Although he stays busy, Unger is never out of touch with the Blues.

“St. Louis was such a great hockey town. It would have been really nice to be able to give them a Stanley Cup,” he said. “Hopefully sometime in the near future, something is going to happen where that’s going to change.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Steen 68 33 29 17 62
T. Oshie 79 21 39 19 60
D. Backes 74 27 30 14 57
J. Schwartz 80 25 31 28 56
A. Pietrangelo 81 8 43 20 51
K. Shattenkirk 81 10 35 1 45
V. Tarasenko 64 21 22 20 43
D. Roy 75 9 28 -1 37
J. Bouwmeester 82 4 33 26 37
V. Sobotka 61 9 24 14 33
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 18 6 2 .922 1.96
R. Miller 25 30 4 .918 2.64

 
TICKETS
Single Game Tickets
Full Season Tickets
Half Season Plans
12-Game Plans
6-Game Packs
Group Tickets
Luxury Suites
My Account
NHL Ticket Exchange

TEAM
Team Roster
Prospects
Coaches
Front Office
Blues History
All-Time Player Roster
Chicago Wolves
Alaska Aces

SCHEDULE
Preseason
Regular Season
Promotions Schedule
Schedule Downloads

STATS
Player Stats
League Standings

NEWS
News
Features
Blues Overtime Blog

VIDEO
Game Highlights
GameDay
News & Interviews
All-Access
NHL Network

SOCIAL
Find a Player
Facebook
Twitter
Mobile App
E-mail Subscriptions

FANS
Hot Deals for Cool Fans
Photo Galleries
License Plates

COMMUNITY
Blues in the Community
Blues 14 Fund
50/50 Raffle Numbers

SHOP
Online Store
Blues Auctions
True Blues Authentics

stlouisblues.com is the official Web site of the St Louis Blues. St Louis Blues, stlouisblues.com and stlblues.com are trademarks of the St Louis Blues Hockey Club. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2014 St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

PRIVACY POLICY | ADCHOICES | TERMS OF USE | EMPLOYMENT & INTERNSHIPS | GUEST EXPERIENCE SURVEY | CONTACT US