Former American Hockey League player and coach Jimmy Roberts has passed away, the St. Louis Blues announced on Friday.
Roberts was 75.
A five-time Stanley Cup champion and three-time NHL All-Star, Roberts was the Blues’ first-ever player, selected with their first pick in the 1967 expansion draft. He played 1,159 games in the NHL, and also made appearances with the AHL’s Cleveland Barons and Quebec Aces.
Roberts later spent five seasons as a head coach in the AHL, beginning with the Springfield Indians in 1988-89. In 1989-90, Roberts won the Louis A.R. Pieri Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach and guided the Indians to not just their first playoff series victory in 15 years, but eventually their sixth Calder Cup.
Springfield’s NHL affiliation switched from the New York Islanders to the Hartford Whalers in 1990, but Roberts returned as head coach and led the Indians to a division championship — their first since 1962 — and a second consecutive Calder Cup. The Indians remain the only AHL team ever to win back-to-back titles with two different NHL affiliates.
Roberts was also the first head coach of the AHL’s Worcester IceCats, leading the team from 1994-96.