ST. LOUIS, FEB. 8 -- The death on Saturday of Barclay Plager, who served the St. Louis Blues as captain, coach and inspiration, has cast a pall over the 39th NHL All-Star Game, to be played here Tuesday.

Plager, who lost a three-year battle to cancer, had been designated an honorary captain of the Campbell Conference team, along with brother Bob. NHL officials said today that status would not change.

Plager wore No. 8 during nine seasons as a player with St. Louis and Saturday night, after news of his death, the Blues tried to extend their winning streak to eight games in his honor. However, the emotion proved too much and the Blues were beaten by Philadelphia, 4-2.

Edmonton's Glen Sather, the Campbell coach who played here with Plager, said today, "Barclay Plager was a friend, a teammate and a great competitor. For the players and coaches in the all-star game, it's tough to be here now, especially those of us who played with him." Capitals Search for Farm

General Manager David Poile of the Washington Capitals met today with David Welker, owner of the Fort Wayne Komets of the International League, to discuss the possibility of Fort Wayne becoming the Capitals' sole farm outlet next season.

"He made a proposal, but he's a little more anxious than I am," Poile said. "We need to talk about where the International League is going. They're talking about putting franchises in Phoenix and Sacramento and Erie {Pa.} and that could affect everybody's costs."

Poile has been approached by an American Hockey League expansion committee and he also has agreed to talk with Tom Ebright, owner of the Baltimore Skipjacks.

"I'd be remiss not to look into Baltimore," Poile said. "I want the best place for our young players' development but we also must look at things from a financial standpoint.

"We should have enough players next year for our own team. If things don't work out, though, we have an option to stay in Binghamton for two more years."

Gretzky on the Olympics

Edmonton center Wayne Gretzky had an interesting comment today about the upcoming Olympic hockey tournament: "I hope Canada wins the gold medal, because I know a lot of guys have put in a lot of hard work, but the best thing for hockey would be for the U.S. to win the gold medal, because of the extra attention that would be given to hockey in the U.S." . . .

Washington winger Dave Christian is one of six members of the 1980 U.S. gold medal hockey team still playing in the NHL. The others are defenseman Ken Morrow of the Islanders, defenseman Jack O'Callahan and center Mark Johnson of New Jersey, defenseman Mike Ramsey of Buffalo and center Neal Broten of Minnesota. Center Mark Pavelich is playing in Italy and right wing Dave Silk in West Germany . . .

Keith Allen, Fred Cusick and Bob Johnson were presented the Lester Patrick Award for service to U.S. hockey at a luncheon here today.

Allen, former coach and general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, said, "It seems funny to be receiving the award in St. Louis, the scene of some of my most embarrassing coaching memories. St. Louis ran roughshod over the Flyers in the early years." Then Allen was embarrassed again, because he lost the thread of his speech and, since he was not wearing his glasses, could not read it, either . . .

NHL President John Ziegler said the NHL spent almost $2 million in legal fees to keep Ralston Purina from moving the Blues to Saskatoon in 1983 . . . Doug MacLean, an assistant coach for St. Louis, played Tier Two hockey in Ontario when Bryan Murray was coaching at Pembroke. "Bryan was my coach in an all-star game and I learned more hockey from him in one day than I did from my own coach in two seasons," MacLean said.