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Hull ‘strongly suggested’ Blues stop post-goal Conga line

Nov 7, 2013, 4:39 PM EDT


Brett Hull was arguably the greatest sniper in Blues history, scoring over 500 goals.

But in a weird twist, he’s now behind the decision to stop celebrating them.

Hull, the Blues’ executive vice-president, said in a Thursday live chat on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website that he — along with ex-Blues Kelly Chase and Keith Tkachuk — “strongly suggested” the team stop doing the Conga line fist-pound after scoring.

“We strongly suggested they acted [sic] like they’ve done it before,” Hull explained.

The decision to stop the celebration has flown under the radar, perhaps because the Blues only recently bailed on it.

For more, here’s Dan O’Neil from the Post-Dispatch on Oct. 31:

Perhaps you noticed during the last two games, wins over Nashville and Winnipeg. When the line of David Backes, Alexander Steen and T.J Oshie have been on the ice for Blues’ goals — and that has been the case on six occasions — there has been no skate to the bench for a Conga line of high-fives.

There has been the traditional raised arms, the traditional hugs and smiles among those involved. And there has been a return to positions for the drop of the puck. In short, the Blues act like they’ve been there before, and aspire to be there again.

“That came from a few gentlemen who used to play here,” Backes said. “They felt like the going through the line thing was a high school, college type of play.

“It’s one of those things where you didn’t really think about it. It’s just the way it was when we got here, the way it was in college, what we did in high school. I think this is a unique thing that maybe we can change the trend a little bit — score the goal, congratulate each other and let’s go do it again.”

Others have since taken notice, as Damien Cox of the Toronto Star recently praised the Blues for eschewing “one of the game’s dumber traditions.”

  1. skr213 - Nov 7, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    As long as the NHL doesn’t become some sort of NFL/NBA celebration environment, I don’t care what they do. Seems like skating to the bench and glove-bumping with the team is done by everyone and has been for years. Not sure why Hull or anyone would have a problem with it.

    • sunderlanding - Nov 7, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      Because this is the sort of thing that leads to those celebrations. Go back 20 years check out the celebrations, then rewatch todays, and imagine 20 years from now.

      • pr0jecktpat - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:10 PM

        Each player will fire off fireworks when they score, and then they will go to center ice to do a dance number.

      • mp1131211 - Nov 7, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        Not sure what league you were watching 20 years ago, but this is the NFL touchdown celebrations that I remember (I don’t watch a single game in that joke of a league anymore)

      • sunderlanding - Nov 8, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        I’m not talking about the NFL. I’m talking about the NHL.

      • mp1131211 - Nov 7, 2013 at 10:10 PM

        oh my god!!!!! I stand utterly and painfully corrected! I just googled touchdown celebrations 2012 and had the unfortunate experience of watching a top ten of the “best” celebrations. Brett Hull might be on to something. They make complete and utter fools of themselves. Wow…. unbelievable stupidity in that league.

      • mp1131211 - Nov 8, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        Oh… I thought when you said “those celebrations” you had meant the ones he had been talking about in the above post. But even if you had been, wow… some of those celebrations are really super lame.

        I’m not sure I get what you mean though: fist bumping of 20 years ago leads to fist bumping of today? I’m not following…

  2. operwapitsai - Nov 7, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    not sure why celebrations have come under such scrutiny over the past few years in all major sports. Yes there are lines that should not be crossed, but if I was out there and scored a goal I would go crazy…. but I guess thats why im not out there

    • tdrusher225 - Nov 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      The NHL doesn’t have a celebration problem and I really don’t see anything wrong with the Conga line thing. The NFL touchdown celebrations are ridiculous because you have guys ignoring their teammates to do stupid dances and make complete idiots of themselves. But NHL players very rarely do stuff like that.

  3. pr0jecktpat - Nov 7, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    At first I thought maybe they were referring to something wacky they were doing on the ice after that line scored, but the glove bumping is something I see every team do. I don’t get how this is something that garners attention, and needs to be address. Last I checked hockey is a team sport, and if players want to celebrate with their teammates what is the big deal?

  4. comeonnowguys - Nov 7, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Oh, God. More Hockey Done The Right Way.

  5. sjsharks66 - Nov 7, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    What a joke

  6. steverolley - Nov 7, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    I agree with Hull (I know bring on the hate!)

    First this is something that started in Junior and somehow crept up into the Pros. I think it is childish, look at the great teams of the past who scored a lot of goals, they never did it.

    I have no problem with celebrations but to see grown ass men having to high 5 the entire bench after every goal is stupid…. like Hall says, act like you’ve done before

    • steverolley - Nov 7, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      *Hull, there will be no high fives over my spelling anytime soon 😦

    • dueman - Nov 7, 2013 at 7:06 PM

      So it’s childish to celebrate a goal in a team sport with your team is it? So then I guess that it’s childish to high five everybody in the dugout after you’ve just scored a run, or hit a home run right? I’m also guessing that celebrating with your team mates on the side lines after a touchdown or an interception is also just childish right? Why may I ask do you watch or play sports then? Sports is about emotion! If you take the emotion out, then you my as well replace the players with some form of robot. Without emotion, especially with hockey, the sport wouldn’t be much fun to watch or play. From what I remember Brett Hull wasn’t known as a big team guy to begin with, so this doesn’t surprise me that much and Damien Cox throwing his two cents in either, since everybody knows what a douche he is, but that doesn’t make them right! Some people need to learn to just leave well enough alone.

  7. rgotoguy - Nov 7, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    To be honest I never notice when guys don’t go down the bench and bump gloves, and I bet 90% of everyone else here doesn’t either.

  8. jernster21 - Nov 7, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    I’m guessing Hull has gone through the same line he’s criticizing, making his opinion on the matter null and void. I don’t recall a team ever not doing this as long as I’ve been watching hockey and that included when Hull played.

    • hockeydon10 - Nov 7, 2013 at 6:02 PM


      In looking at the few videos he doesn’t really seem to do it. He didn’t for his 500th. He didn’t for his 600th (the Stars mobbed him on the ice). He didn’t for his 699th. He didn’t have a chance to for his 700th (the Wings mobbed him on the ice).

      Fact is he barely celebrated on the ice when scoring. Usually a little fist or stick raise, congrats with the guys on the ice then back to the face-off or to the bench.

  9. hockeydon10 - Nov 7, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    On the one hand he’s right. Arms raised, celebrate with the players on the ice, fine. First goal of the game doesn’t need a fist-bump from every player on the bench.

    On the other hand, if it’s a go ahead goal late in the third period or player reaches a milestone of some sort, then break out the fist bump every player schtick. In short, use for special occasions.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 8, 2013 at 1:26 AM

      It’s funny how with stuff people like, such as fights, they say, hey, it’s been part of the game forever, keep it the old way. Like it the old way? Look at Bobby Orr, greatest d-man ever. He went crazy when his goal won the Cup. Most other goals brought a quick smile, tap tap with his mates, on with the game. The modern conga line came in with the influx of college players, and IMHO it belongs with the teenagers.

  10. afrozenpond - Nov 7, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    They’re grown men who get to play a boy’s game, why hide the joy? Just keep it classy, San Diego.

    • iplaygoalie - Nov 7, 2013 at 6:15 PM

      exactly frozen. I mean don’t go disco fever on a goal when you’re losing 4-1 but damn Brett get your panties out of a wad.

  11. joey4id - Nov 7, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Why is this item on his agenda? There are more pressing issues affecting the game. Maybe he should sit down with some of the legends of the game to get some topics that will make an actual difference in the game, and how it appeals to a broader audience.

    • hockeydon10 - Nov 8, 2013 at 6:52 AM


      Uh, he is a legend of the game.

      Also, it’s right there in the article. Act like you’ve done it before and you expect you’ll be doing it again. In short, it’s a bunch of little things like this that will help generate a tradition of winning and confidence in that bunch.

      • joey4id - Nov 8, 2013 at 8:09 AM

        He’s a legend my a$$. Scotty Bowman is a legend. Hull has done nothing to advance the game compared to a great hockey mind like Bowman.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 10, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        Sorry joey, but your “logic” here is a bit shaky. There are also world problems greater than hockey, so until you personally bring peace to at least one troubled place, such as Somalia, and cure at least one form of cancer, go away and stop commenting here. But, we agree on Bowman, so from now on, no one who has won fewer than 8 Stanley Cups or scored fewer than 800 goals will ever be mentioned in any hockey story. I mean, just 741 goals and they somehow let Hull in the Hall of Fame? Idiots.

  12. kingcobraman - Nov 7, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    It is so junior league… maybe your first pro goal , game winner in overtime ,p layoff clincher is acceptable but after every goal come on man your pros… you watch nfl a guy makes a play n jumps up and down celebrating a regular play ridiculous … your pros not juniors…

  13. jhaegs - Nov 7, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    I like it. Celebrate with your linemates after a goal, then celebrate with the whole team if/when you win. It looks really dumb when a team is down by 3, and they do the Conga Line. Stay in the moment, and get yourself ready to do some more work. Plenty of time to celebrate AFTER the game.

    That being said, it’s not nearly as bad as some of the idiotic NFL celebrations. Funny how high school football players act with more class than pros after a TD… or a sack.

  14. muckleflugga - Nov 8, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    amen to that brother brett…

    the nhl has become nearly as revolting as the nfl with overt over-the-top celebrations…the me me me me generation prevails!

    just exactly when did the transition from men to drama queens begin in professional sport…?

    right around the time men started wearing ear rings, that’s when!

    • comeonnowguys - Nov 8, 2013 at 9:27 AM

      In related news: GET OFF MY LAWN!

      Also, PHT, please consider moving the report comment to another part of the comment area so people don’t get accidentally reported. Sorry, muckle.

  15. comeonnowguys - Nov 8, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I hate more than a sack dance after a two-yard gain, or a DB mugging it up for a pass thrown out of bounds, and that stupid “first down” gesture by receivers and tight ends for no apparent reason at all.

    But this? Really? It’s literally skating past the bench with your arm out. Nothing choreographed. No hand jive. For 2/5 or 3/5 of the skaters, it’s not even that far out of their way.

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