The St. Louis Blues announced today that they have agreed to terms with head coach Craig Berube on a three-year contract extension. The deal keeps Berube behind the St. Louis bench through the 2024-25 season. Since replacing Mike Yeo as head coach for the Blues in November 2018, the man they call “Chief” has led the Blues to an impressive 133-72-30 record in the regular season, though more importantly, will forever be remembered as the first coach to bring the Stanley Cup to St. Louis.
Blues, “Chief” fit like a glove
Perhaps the most important aspect of coaching at the highest level is the fit. The style of play that the coach wants to implement must match the roster that management assembles. For the better part of their history, and particularly during the Doug Armstrong era, the Blues have been known as a hard-nosed hockey team that plays a two hundred foot game. Berube, known during his playing days as one of the toughest players in the game, matches that personality perfectly.
Ability to adapt key for Berube
Besides being a good fit for the organization at the time of hiring, a truly great coach has the ability to adapt as his team evolves, and Berube has shown that he can do just that. The team he led in his first season to the Stanley Cup is almost an entirely different team than the one he has currently looking like one of the top contenders in the Western Conference. Berube’s style made sense for the Blues in 2018-19 because they were a team that was built on defence and physicality. Over the past few seasons, the team has evolved into one built on offence and speed. Berube’s ability to adapt his coaching style to the roster he has to work with is the reason this extension makes so much sense. Between the familiarity, the past success, and the bright future the front office is envisioning, it only makes sense that the team and Berube got together over the All-Star break and got this deal done.
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