34. Paul Cavallini
Defenseman, 1987-92; 337 games, 37 goals, 120 assists, plus-99 rating, 514 PIM
Paul Cavallini might not have been the most dynamic playmaking defenseman that the Blues have ever had, but he’s certainly among the top five in terms of defensive discipline, especially considering that he played in a very offensive era.
Cavallini is ranked third in franchise history in career plus-minus, and his plus-38 rating in 1989-90 is the best single-season rating for any player not named Chris Pronger. He made the All-Star team that season, and he also received votes for the Norris Trophy. The fact that Cavallini was able to maintain that level of defensive discipline and never post a negative rating during a season for the Blues while playing during the seventh, eighth, ninth, 11th, 14th, and 15th highest-scoring NHL seasons in the expansion era is quite incredible.
While Cavallini only had more than 40 points in one regular season (’89-’90) with the Blues, he somehow found his offensive touch during the postseason. Over 49 playoff games in five seasons with St. Louis, Cavallini had seven goals and 15 assists. He maintained his elite ability in his own zone when the going got tough, too, posting a plus-9 rating over that period.
Cavallini gets somewhat of a raw deal in that some of the defensemen that overlapped with him or immediately followed him–Jeff Brown, Chris Pronger, and Al MacInnis–were arguably the three greatest blueliners in franchise history, which often causes him to get shifted to the back burner when it comes to discussion not only about the best defensemen in team history, but also of his era.