How does a California surfer dude find his way to become a hockey player? It was an improbable destination for John Blue, who grew up in Huntington Beach but from an early age he was drawn to the game, and specifically playing goal.
At the age of 17 he played in the USHL with the Des Moines Buccaneers where he felt the level of talent was higher than it was closer to his home in California. In 1984-85 Blue enrolled at the University of Minnesota where he was the team's starting goaltender in each of his three seasons at the school, each year posting a winning record. He was a WCHA Second All-Star Team selection in 1985 and improved that to a First Team selection in 1986.
Blue was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in round ten of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, 197th overall. Before turning professional, Blue suited up for the United States National Team and was its backup goaltender at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Although he became the property of the Minnesota North Stars in 1988, he never played with the club.
Blue's first shot at the NHL came in 1992-93 when he was between the pipes for 23 games for the Boston Bruins. The highlight of the season came when he stopped Chicago's Denis Savard on a penalty shot. For a period of time it seemed as if Blue was going to be the Bruins' goalie of the future, but it was not to be. Although he remained in the organization for four years, much of it was spent in the minors as Blue was unable to regain the form that temporarily drew him accolades from the Boston media, which in itself can be a major achievement. The knock against him was that he seemed to get rattled with increased activity around his crease, which often seemed to get him off his game.
In 1991 Blue signed a free-agent contract with the Buffalo Sabres, but he played just five games with them. His final year as a pro was 1996-97 as a member of the Austin Ice Bats of the WPHL.