St Louis Blues: Top 30 Goaltenders in Franchise History

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16. Ernie Wakely

1969-72; 111 games, 40-41-17 record, 2.77 GAA, 8 shutouts; 10 postseason games, 2-6 record;1971 NHL All-Star

Along with the legendary Jacques Plante and Glenn Hall, Wakely was part of the goaltending trio that held down the net as the Blues reached the Stanley Cup Finals in their first few years of existence.

Wakely joined the St Louis Blues for the 1969-70 season—the organization’s third season of existence—and got off to a great start in his first extended NHL action, leading the league with a 2.11 goals-against average, finishing tied for fifth in shutouts with four, and going 12-9-4 over 30 games.

The only true negative to Wakely’s rookie season was his playoff performance; Wakely was given the opportunity to play in four postseason games, including two games of the Blues’ four-game Stanley Cup Finals loss to the Boston Bruins, and took the loss in all four, allowing 17 goals over 216 minutes.

Like many St Louis Blues backups who ascended to the starter’s role, his performance dropped back down to earth after he was given more exposure. Wakely had a good year after taking the reins in 1971-72, finishing with a 20-14-11 record with a 2.79 GAA and three shutouts, a performance that earned him a spot on the All-Star team.

He split time with Hall during that postseason and got the only playoff shutout of his Blues career during Game 3 of the Blues’ first-round series loss to the Minnesota North Stars.

His 1971-72 season was much less effective, however, as he lost playing time to newly-acquired Jacques Caron and was not great when given opportunities, going 8-18-2 in 30 games while putting up a 3.42 GAA. Despite only starting in one playoff game (but playing in three), Wakely managed to give up a disastrous 13 goals in 113 minutes (a 6.90 GAA).

After the WHA came into existence in 1971, Wakely elected to leave the Blues for the Winnipeg Jets, and he’d go on to play more games than any other goalie in WHA history over the next seasons before the league (and Wakely’s career) folded in 1979.

Next: 15. Chris Osgood