John Blue

John Blue can thank Dominik Hasek's rotator cuff for getting one last shot at the National Hockey League.

Blue, who was born Huntington Beach, California on February 19, 1966, starred at the University of Minnesota before playing with the United States national and Olympics teams of 1988. Originally a Winnipeg Jets draft pick, Blue began his professional career in 1988 buried deep in the Minnesota North Stars organization.

When we say buried, we mean buried. Over his first three professional seasons, John played with 10 different teams in three leagues plus the international arena. The only thing he saw more than pucks were busses. He never played more than 19 games with one team at a time, thus never allowing Blue to settle down and develop at the pro level like he should have. In fact, John actually dressed as a forward for one game in the minor leagues!

John finally had a chance to settle down and develop properly when he signed on with the Boston Bruins organization in 1991. He played a full season with the Bruins farm team, and by 1992-93 he was a very popular player with the Providence Bruins. The fans often chanted his name after every save.

John's 14-4-1 season sparked the Baby Bruins to a top record in the league halfway through the season, and earned Blue a shot at the National Hockey League. Starting goalie Andy Moog was sidelined in February of 1993, and Blue stepped in and started every game for a month. He posted an admirable 9-8-4 record which enabled the Bruins to keep their status in the old Adams division until Moog's return. Blue even posted an impressive 7-0 shutout over the high flying Pittsburgh Penguins.

Upon Moog's return, Blue remained with the team as the backup, and even started one playoff game against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres won the game 4-3 in overtime.

Moog was traded for Jon Casey in 1993-94, but when Casey failed to live up to expectations, the Bruins acquired Vince Riendeau to shore up their goaltending woes. Blue was ultimately returned to the minor leagues due to the goalie glut, never to return.

Despite his play, John had no NHL interest upon becoming a NHL free agent in 1995. He ended up signing a minor league contract to start the year, but a rotator cuff injury to "The Dominator" Dominik Hasek forced the Sabres to desperately acquire a goaltender as they were already missing backup Andrei Trefilov to injury. They signed John on December 28, 1995. Needless to say it was a nice and unexpected late Christmas present for John.

John was airlifted in and played admirably in 5 contests, posting a 2-2 record. Upon Hasek's return Blue sat on the bench for over a month until Trefilov returned as well. Blue finished the year in Rochester, and was then released.

Blue played one more season of professional hockey before retiring. In the 46 NHL games he appeared in, he recorded a respectable 16-18-7 record with a 2.99 goals against average.


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