With St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock inking a one-year extension that he says will be his final year of coaching, the Blues are looking for the team’s heir apparent. To that end, the Blues are reported to be interviewing former Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo and former Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube for the job.
It was once thought that assistant Kirk Muller was that heir apparent, but the team has confirmed that he will not be returning next year.
The Star Tribune’s Michael Russo reports that Yeo is currently in St. Louis, likely for an interview. Though his time with Minnesota was tumultuous — leading the team to become postseason regulars, but also regularly falling apart midseason — he shouldn’t lack for coaching options. He has reportedly interviewed with both the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks as those franchises seek to fill their head coaching vacancies. He was also an assistant coach for the gold medal-winning Canadian national team at the 2016 World Championship.
Both coaches offer something different for the future of the franchise. Yeo’s coaching style maybe aligns most closely with Hitchcock’s, while Berube could be a hire that says the franchise is looking to move in a new direction. With better offensive weapons in the pipeline than they’ve had in a long time, moving away from the heavy hockey they’ve played under Hitchcock may be an inevitability.
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.