The St. Louis Blues and coach Ken Hitchcock have agreed on a one-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.
Hitchcock said Tuesday that he expects this to be his final season.
Hitchcock said this is his last one-year deal. He's done coaching after this next season. #stlblues
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) May 31, 2016
Though the Blues didn’t make the Final, they got over the postseason impotence that has plagued the organization in recent years, making it all the way to the Western Conference Championship, where they were felled by the San Jose Sharks. It was likely that trip deep into the postseason that got Hitchcock another year with the team.
This may set some dominoes in motion for teams currently looking for a new coach, like the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks. Hitchcock wasn’t a guarantee to get a new gig and would have been the biggest name on the market if he was relieved of his duties. Teams may have been waiting to see what St. Louis did with him.
The length of the contract isn’t unexpected. Hitchcock has previously said that he expects things to be on a season-by-season basis going forward. “I don’t want to be signing on for a bunch of years that I know I can’t answer the bell for,” he said last year.
Additionally, associate coach Brad Shaw will not be returning to the team’s bench. Elliotte Friedman speculates that Shaw may have been offered a one-year deal and declined.
He has a 224-103-36 record during his tenure with the Blues.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.