Blues to retire MacInnis' jersey on Sunday

Updated: April 7, 2006, 6:00 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Al MacInnis' reputation was built on a slap shot that exceeded 100 mph and yet always seemed to be right on net.

But the St. Louis Blues, who will retire his No. 2 jersey on Sunday night, have missed him just as much for the rest of his impeccable game. For those who saw him on a nightly basis, his precision passing, positional defense and unflappable demeanor were all highly prized.

"He was just a dynamic player, and he didn't get enough credit for his defensive play," said Dallas Drake, who succeeded MacInnis as Blues captain. "He was great in his own zone."

The man with the big shot, it seems, was anything but a big shot. Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz, one of MacInnis' first minor league hockey roommates, will attest to that.

"Probably the biggest asset is if you ever met him or if you know him, the way he treated people and the way he respected the game," Trotz said. "Those are things that are going to endear way past records, or the guy with the big shot."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press