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Category: St-Louis-Blues

What About Ken Hitchcock?

from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

... But what if Babcock says "no" to the Blues?

The list of candidates outside the Detroit bench boss is short and underwhelming. Todd McLellan, who left San Jose this offseason, will be named as Edmonton's next coach Tuesday afternoon. The Sharks are said to be interested in former New Jersey coach Pete DeBoer and former Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma. Meanwhile, if Babcock does return to the Red Wings, Buffalo and Toronto will still be looking for coaches as well.

The likely scenario is that the Blues would turn back to Hitchcock, despite the fact that it's now known that they are trying to replace him. It doesn't seem like the club would be worried about how that looks from the outside, because the Blues were trying to bring in one of the league's top coaches and would be returning to one who has won the fourth most games in history.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

What’s Going On With Ken Hitchcock?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The private planes have already been dispatched, the tours planned, the sales pitches made — daily, even hourly — to Mike Babcock. The eventual coronation can’t possibly be far away.

All of this is happening while Ken Hitchcock waits for a telephone call or meeting to learn of his coaching future.

“Amazing,” said an NHL general manager, who didn’t want his name involved. “You have one coach with one playoff series win in four years that everybody wants to hire and one coach with exactly the same record — one playoff win in four years — that everybody wants to fire.”

Hitchcock has coached the St. Louis Blues for almost four seasons. He has won one Stanley Cup in his career, albeit not in St. Louis. Babcock has won one, also — his in Detroit.

Hitchcock also lost a Stanley Cup in Dallas. Babcock lost two — one in Anaheim, one in Detroit.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Morning Line- A Fan On The St. Louis Blues

We chose to believe that the Blues were loading up for a deep run.  We chose to believe that the six-goals-and-a-shutout Blues were going to show up every night.  We chose to believe that this year’s Blues were something different than the team we knew.

That’s on us, honestly.  So how do we prepare for next year?  Heads will not roll.  Oh sure, someone will be gone by next year, but it won’t be everybody and their brother.  Thinking about who can get us the most value leads to the sad conclusion that it’s Steen… so let’s pretend that’s not on the table.  We’re Blues fans; we can pretend with the best of ‘em.

-hildymac, a fan post at St. Louis Game Time where you can read more on the Blues.

Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The St. Louis Blues Will Be Careful With Roster Moves

from Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

For those expecting the Blues to make a major roster turnover this offseason after yet another quick exit from the playoffs, here’s the reality: It won’t be easy.

For a team such as the Blues, which is up against the salary cap at a time when the salary cap isn’t going to change much, club officials’ hands effectively are tied. Moves will require trades — and unless the Blues can make a deal for draft picks or prospects, they usually require to be in the dollar-for-dollar neighborhood.

Change for the sake of change isn’t coming.

“What I don’t want to do is hurt the franchise long term, be a good headline tomorrow and then regret it for five or six years.’’ Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. “No manager says. ‘I’m going to make a really bad trade.’ I don’t want to be the first. … To move player X for an inferior player doesn’t make you better.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

How About Evgeni Malkin To The St. Louis Blues?

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

The former Hart Trophy winner does have a complete no-trade clause, so he can veto any move, but the Penguins should be listening to all pitches on Malkin.

They need help, and right now. He’s their best bargaining chip.

Evander Kane, a very good winger but no all-star, fetched the Winnipeg Jets top-three defender Tyler Myers, second-line winger Drew Stafford, and two strong prospects in Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux. Surely, Malkin can get more than that.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford should call up St. Louis Blues counterpart Doug Armstrong, who may be looking to shake things up with his core, and ask about T.J. Oshie, David Backes and draft picks for Malkin.

Backes would be the Ryan Kesler-type second-line centre with Oshie on his wing and Patric Hornqvist could still play with Sidney Crosby on the first line. And the Penguins badly need draft picks after giving way too many away in their desire to keep current and play for the Stanley Cup now, acquiring the likes of Jarome Iginla and Marian Hossa in their failed recent runs.

Malkin, meanwhile, could play with Vladimir Tarasenko in St. Louis.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

A Disappointing Ending For The St. Louis Blues

from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

It was a familiar scene again Tuesday, two days after another Blues season had short-circuited, with general manager Doug Armstrong sitting behind a table and speaking about a stronger evaluation of the organization this offseason.
So what was different this time?

Well, the most obvious was that the person sitting next to him, Ken Hitchcock, might not be on the Blues' bench after that evaluation. Core players including Barret Jackman, David Backes, Alexander Steen, T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund bear as much of the responsibility for the club’s continued playoff failures and are in more jeopardy of being moved than in the past. And Armstrong himself faced increased scrutiny, spending part of the session owning up to his share of the blame.

“We as a group, we don’t mind the praise, so we have to take the hits,” Armstrong said. “We’re open season for a couple of weeks. Take your shots, have at it, we get it, we signed up for it. But my job is not to do something that’s going to alleviate my responsibility and make a good headline.

“We deserve the criticism because we’re not performing at this time of year. (But) if you’re looking for a statement today that’s going to have a definite answer, I don’t have that yet. I need to use the time that’s allotted to me now to do that evaluation.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Ken Hitchcock Needs Time To Decide His Future

from Tom Timmermann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said he needed time to reflect on the season before making a decision as to whether he'll return as coach of the Blues next season.

"I need time," Hitchcock said. "I need time to reflect, some time to evaluate right now, what I've done, what I've accomplished, what's happened to us, both positive, a lot of it, and the negative, which goes with the territory. I feel like I've let people down right now and I need to look at that and what needs to improve and I want time and space to evaluate it. I'll sit down with Doug, we've been together a long time, I know how good a coach I am, I know what I can do."


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+hitchcock

The Fragile St. Louis Blues

from Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Here's what bothered me most about the Blues' first-round ejection by the Minnesota Wild: there was little pushback from a very good St. Louis team that had every reason to bring an intense level of hunger and desperation to the competition.

After being shoved out of the postseason for three consecutive years, including first-round eliminations in 2013 and 2014, Blues' players knew what was at stake this time around.

Their impressive body of work in the regular season was on the line. Since Ken Hitchcock became coach in November 2011,  the Blues had the most wins in the NHL. But what did they have to show for it, really? Nothing other than a first-round triumph over San Jose in 2012.  The hockey world was watching: would the Blues finally man up and get something done when it really mattered?

Blues' players had their reputations on the line. The longtime core of David Backes, Alex Steen, T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund, Barret Jackman and — to a lesser extent — Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk were a big part of the nucleus that has a history of underachievement in the Stanley Cup tournament. Some of their individual postseason resumes were terrible.

So what would they do with another opportunity to silence the critics and skeptics and prove that the had the necessary fiber to seriously contend for a championship? Would they post up with an abundance of personal and collective pride? 


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Done In St. Louis

from Jeremy P. Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Say goodbye to the Blues, to some of them perhaps for good.

Another 100-plus point season ended Sunday with a third consecutive first-round playoff exit, and this one could lead to the most drastic changes fans have seen in some time.

Minnesota topped the Blues 4-1 in Game 6 at Xcel Energy Center, claiming the best-of-seven series four games to two. The Wild advanced to face Chicago in the second round.

“We do what we need to do in the regular season and once the postseason hits, we’re not able to get over that hump,” Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “It’s just a very frustrating thing to deal with year after year.”


from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Disptach,

The Blues added another first-round playoff flop to their sad history. They entered the postseason with great expectations and departed amid, again, much exasperation.

This was the last time this collection of players and coaches will work together. Disaster brings consequences. Change is inevitable, perhaps significant change.

“It’s terrible right now,” Allen said. “To get a chance to win a Stanley Cup, it doesn’t happen too often in your career. Especially with a team like this.”

So Allen earned his spot on the Pantheon of Blues Goaltending Failures, joining the likes of Ryan Miller, Chris Osgood, Roman Turek, Jon Casey, Curtis Joseph (Keenan Era only) and, of course, Jaroslav Halak’s balky groin muscles — famously fragile body parts that have their own special place in franchise lore.

This crushing series defeat is not entirely Allen’s fault, of course, but three bad goals in two games sped this team’s downfall.


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

Video- Mike Milbury And Jeremy Roenick On The St. Louis Blues

You will also hear from Jake Allen and Ken Hitchcock...


Filed in: NHL Teams, St. Louis Blues, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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