Stillman Gets Thrill of a Lifetime

Blues owner was personally invited to join Wayne Gretzky's Fantasy Camp

Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 5:37 PM / St Louis Blues - Features
By Dan Rosen  - NHL.com
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Stillman Gets Thrill of a Lifetime
Blues chairman Tom Stillman was personally invited by Wayne Gretzky to join his Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas.


LAS VEGAS -- St. Louis Blues owner Tom Stillman initially thought a friend was playing a joke on him, but he knew that couldn't be the case because the name and number that came up on his phone was one that he had saved in his contacts folder.

Wayne Gretzky.

The Great One was indeed calling the new owner of the Blues to invite him to be his guest at the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp.

"It's maybe the most surreal experience I've had since I got involved with the Blues," Stillman told NHL.com Tuesday morning before playing in his first game at the Fantasy Camp. "Really, I can remember times when people used to leave phone messages for me saying it was Wayne Gretzky, ha ha, but it was him and he was asking me to come to the event, saying that they were planning to wear Blues uniforms this year so they'd like me to come.

"When the Great One calls, what are you going to do? You're going to go. This is the hockey fantasy camp of fantasy camps."

Gretzky's Fantasy Camp participants are sporting these 1967 Blues jerseys. The camp, which is being held in Las Vegas, gives fans a chance to participate in a simulated NHL Training Camp. VIEW PHOTO

Stillman played NCAA Division III hockey at Middlebury College. He still plays regularly, at least three times per week, including once a week with members of the Blues' alumni still living in the St. Louis area.

Gretzky, whose wife Janet is from St. Louis and still has family living there, said he had met Stillman while attending some Blues home games last season.

"Right about the time he had finalized his deal to buy the team, I told him every year I do a different theme [for the Fantasy Camp] and this year I'm doing the St. Louis Blues of 1967," Gretzky told NHL.com. "I said, 'I heard you play on the alumni team once a week, so I'd love for you to come out and be our guest, just be part of this, see what it's all about.' We're thrilled to have him. It's exciting."

Stillman, who became Chairman and Governor of the Blues on May 9, 2012, is remarkably self-deprecating about his ability on the ice.

"I think I'm what you would classify as a never-been," he said smiling. "There is a big asterisk there. I play slowly and in a very old-man fashion. I think the phrase is, 'The depth chart doesn't go far enough down for me.'"

But that's the beauty of this camp. Ability and age don't matter. There are no depth charts.

"He's a fresh new owner in the game," Gretzky said. "He's a St. Louis guy that loves the city and that's great for the game. If he also plays, I was like, 'Come on out, come and be my guest.' That's what it's all about."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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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

 
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