Jr. Blues mourn the loss of hockey pioneer Ferrera
Original founder and General Manager of the St. Louis Jr. Blues and former President of the Central States Hockey League, Frank Ferrara, Sr. was laid to rest today after a long battle with cancer.
Mr. Ferrara ran the legal department at Ralston Purina when the company purchased the St. Louis Blues of the NHL. Ralston's Chairman reassigned Mr. Ferrara to run the day-to-day operations of the Blues. At the time, hockey was still a fledgling sport in St. Louis and Mr. Ferrara with the help of Emile Francis sought to increase the number of youth players so he was instrumental in helping grow the Metro Jr. B League and the St. Louis Jr. Blues were born.
Because of his efforts, now every NHL team supports youth hockey in their communities. Former Blues executive Keith Blase said, "We pioneered that, took it to a new level, and it served as a model for what currently exists in the NHL." Once Ralston sold the team, it was Ferrara that kept the Jr. Blues afloat. Mr. Ferrara is survived by his wife Cissy; two sons, John and Frank; two daughters, Cynthia and Julia.
Mr. Ferrara had a long and distinguished hockey career that culminated with his induction into the St. Louis Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009. Mr. Ferrara was a coach from 1974-77; was the Coaching Director in 1976-77; he was the Commissioner of the St. Louis Metro Open Hockey League from 1978-80; a member of the Webster Groves Hockey Board from 1974-78; 1981-82 he was a member of the Vianney High School Hockey Board; 1977-1983 the Director of Administration/Controller, St. Louis Blues; 1978 inistiated the St. Louis Jr. Blues Jr. B Team; 1978-85, General Manager of the St. Louis Jr. Blues; 1986-92, Board member of the St. Louis Jr. Blues; President of the St. Louis Jr. Blues 1993-96; 1996-2003, President of the Central States Hockey League; and 1998-2007, Chairman of the St. Louis Sports Comission.
Mr. Ferrara was a fixture at St. Louis area rinks, had a passion for hockey and cigars, and will be missed by many. The St. Louis Jr. Blues would like to extend their condolences to the Ferrara family.