Kukla's Korner Hockey
ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Blues have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with forward Scottie Upshall.
Upshall, who joined the Blues as a free agent last summer, would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The Fort McMurray, Alberta native played in 70 games for the Blues last season, scoring six goals and eight assists (14 points) to go along with a plus-5 rating.
Overall, Upshall has played in 623 career regular season NHL games, posting 121 goals and 127 assists (248 points).
If not signed by July 1, David Backes, Troy Brouwer, Steve Ott and Kyle Brodziak will all become unrestricted free agents.
(June 13, 2016) - St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the Blues have named Mike Yeo Associate Coach. In addition, Armstrong announced that Yeo will be named Head Coach to begin the 2017-18 season and his contract will run through the 2019-20 season. Armstrong also announced that Rick Wilson has been named an Assistant Coach, while Assistant Coach Ray Bennett, Goaltending Coach Jim Corsi and Video CoachSean Ferrell will return to the coaching staff.
St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock opens up about where he sees himself now and after his one-year contract ends, says “I can’t see myself out of the game,” even after retiring from coaching.
(June 3, 2016) - St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that Blues forward Alexander Steen has undergone successful surgery on his left shoulder. The procedure was performed by Dr. Rick Wright and Dr. Matt Smith of Washington University Orthopedics. Steen is scheduled to be re-evaluated in 16 weeks.
Steen, 32, ranked second on the Blues with 52 points (17 goals, 35 assists) this past season. The 6'0, 212-pound forward also set postseason career highs in goals (4), assists (6) and points (10) during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, native will enter his ninth season with the Blues in 2016-17.
from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
The Blues confirmed Tuesday that they were keeping their head coach, Ken Hitchcock, who agreed to another one-year contract extension. But as a result of the short-term contract offers made to the staff, associate head coach Brad Shaw is moving on and assistant Kirk Muller could be as well.
Both, particularly Muller, had been seen as potential successors to Hitchcock when he retired.
But that won’t be 2016-17, after the Blues and Hitchcock announced that he will be back for a sixth season with the team. It will be his 21st in the NHL and last in the league behind the bench, he insisted.
“I’m telling you right now, this is my last one-year deal,” said Hitchcock, who will turn 65 in December. “I’m not coaching after this year. This is it. So I’m done. I don’t know if I’m going to retire ... but I’m not coaching after this year.”...
In regard to Hitchcock’s successor in 2017-18, Armstrong said that he would consider promoting from within. The two possible replacements were believed to be Shaw and Muller.
But the Blues have decided not to offer any of their assistants a longer term than what they’re giving Hitchcock, and so after 10 years with the franchise, Shaw has decided to move on.
“It was a one-year (offer) and I just made the decision with my family that now is a good time to maybe take the next step in my career,” Shaw said. “It’s been a great 10 years here. I’ve had so much growth as a person and as a coach and met so many great people. It wasn’t an easy decision, I can tell you that.”
from Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko looked back on the playoffs on Tuesday, particularly on his series against San Jose, where he was held goalless until the final nine minutes of the final game, and felt he needed to do more.
"They played really tight and they backchecked so hard," Tarasenko said. "It's just experience. It was frustrating for me. I wish I could do better. I'm supposed to do better."...
"I wouldn't say I wasn't frustrated," Tarasenko said. "Of course I was a little bit mad. ... It's no time for frustration. Even if you don't score and the team wins, everybody helps. Now I have a lot of time to think about my game, look at my shifts and find out what's wrong. But when a team is winning, you don't even think about your points. It's nothing better when come into the room after a hard game, whether you score or not score, and you see those happy faces around you, your friends, really happy. You can't think about something else."
Tarasenko dismissed a report out of Canada about issues between him and the organization.
(May 31, 2016) - St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the Blues have signed Head Coach Ken Hitchcock to a one-year contract extension. Hitchcock was originally hired by the Blues on Nov. 7, 2011, becoming the 24th head coach in team history. The Edmonton, Alberta native will enter his sixth season behind the Blues bench in 2016-17.
from Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
During a locker clean-out that marked the transition from this season to next, Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko missed a chance to take out the trash.
The $60 million man declined to participate in the final media availability of the season on Saturday. The no-show was harder to explain than Tarasenko's disappearance in 17 of the Western Conference final's 18 periods. This time there wasn't San Jose defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to blame....
He could have told the doubters why they were wrong. He could have told those who defended him why things will be different next postseason. The new father could have explained what it was like, balancing the biggest moment of his personal life — he welcomed a son into the world before Game 2 — with the biggest moment of his professional career.
At least tell them something.
More importantly, Tarasenko's no comment closed the book on his season without addressing the elephant in the dressing room.
There is growing speculation of friction between Tarasenko and the Blues. Is there a rift between the star and his club?
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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