Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Ken Hitchcock Out As Coach For The St. Louis Blues

(Feb. 1, 2017) – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the Blues have relieved Ken Hitchcock of his coaching duties.  Associate Coach Mike Yeo (YOH), who was hired this past offseason as the incumbent to Hitchcock, will begin his tenure as head coach when the Blues host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday at 8 p.m. at Scottrade Center.  Armstrong and Yeo will hold a press conference today at 10 a.m. at St. Louis Mills.  Following the press conference, the Blues will hold practice at 11:45 a.m.

Yeo, 43, is currently in his first season with the Blues after spending the majority of the last five campaigns as head coach of the Minnesota Wild.  Yeo led the Wild to a 173-132-44 record during his tenure, including a 46-28-8 mark in 2014-15 which served as the second best record in Wild franchise history.  The North Bay, Ontario, native also guided the Wild to three postseason appearances including back-to-back trips to the second round in 2014 and 2015.  Prior to his stint in Minnesota, Yeo spent one season as head coach of the American Hockey League's (AHL) Houston Aeros, where he led the club to the 2011 Calder Cup Final.  Yeo also spent four seasons as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins where he captured the 2009 Stanley Cup.  His first six seasons in the Penguins organization were spent as an assistant with their AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.  

Hitchcock joined the Blues on Nov. 8, 2011.  Over the past six seasons, he led the Blues to a 248-124-41 regular season record.  Hitchcock ranks second on the Blues' all-time regular season wins list and fourth in NHL history overall with 781 career regular season wins.

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

Comments

Down River Dan's avatar

Fire up the Little Carders jet boys..!!  wink

Posted by Down River Dan on 02/01/17 at 09:07 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Pierre LeBrun tweet,

You could see this coming. Now a great coach on the open market if indeed Hitch still wants to coach. Part of Vegas short list?

Kenny?

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/01/17 at 09:10 AM ET

Avatar

Kenny?

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/01/17 at 09:10 AM ET

Kenny is way too loyal to throw Blash under the bus like that.
And to be frank I would feel awful for Blash if he got fired. This was a no win situation for him. Optics would be awful for him. 25 years of making the playoffs and he takes over a bad team and misses the playoffs. He might not coach in this league again for a long time.

Posted by George0211 on 02/01/17 at 09:17 AM ET

Paul's avatar

To be clear G, I wasn’t thinking of Holland firing Blashill now, but asking what do people think of Hitchcock taking over for Blashill if he does get canned at some point.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/01/17 at 09:19 AM ET

Avatar

To be clear G, I wasn’t thinking of Holland firing Blashill now, but asking what do people think of Hitchcock taking over for Blashill if he does get canned at some point.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/01/17 at 09:19 AM ET

Though I do disagree with some of his decision, I do think Blash is a good coach. And the record of the team is not as much on him as it is on KH, IMO, for putting this team together.

As far as Hitch goes, he is a great coach, no argument there. If Blash were to get fired, I think Hitchcock would be a good choice.

 

Posted by George0211 on 02/01/17 at 09:24 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Personally I think Blashill is a good coach just not a good NHL coach. Time to move on while there’s a couple options available.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 02/01/17 at 09:33 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Though I do disagree with some of his decision, I do think Blash is a good coach. And the record of the team is not as much on him as it is on KH.

To be clear…there is blame enough for all (GM,coach,players) to go round, however, the coaching decisions ( ice time, pp efficiency, benching Mantha & AA) is squarely on the shoulders of head coach & assistants.

Babs may have worn out his welcome with the players, but Rarely did Mike get out coached, or fail to make adjustments.

The same cannot be said of current administration.  sick

Posted by Down River Dan on 02/01/17 at 09:38 AM ET

Avatar

Posted by Down River Dan on 02/01/17 at 09:38 AM ET

Agreed 100% I was not putting all the blame on KH, but he shares the largest portion of it IMO.

Posted by George0211 on 02/01/17 at 09:41 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Blash needs to go sooner rather than later.  He is outclassed in every aspect of the game at this level.  But in no way is Hitchcock a suitable replacement.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 02/01/17 at 09:53 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

I’d like to see if Hitch would agree to be hired as a consultant

he has a great coaching mind

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 02/01/17 at 09:53 AM ET

Chris4Wngs's avatar

Truth be told, unless Ken Holland would commit to a plan to give and honest evaluation of talent, and a willingness to revitalize this roster. What coach worth anything in the NHL would want to enter this “rebuild on the fly”  that has been in flight for 6 years thus far with no landing strip in sight.

Posted by Chris4Wngs on 02/01/17 at 09:54 AM ET

Avatar

I’m pretty sure Hitchcock is planning to retire from coaching.

Posted by Jamespqr on 02/01/17 at 10:08 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

It would be nice to click on a post about Ken Hitchcock and the Blues and not read about posts specifically about Blash and Holland.  Comparing how Hitch would work in Detroit, that’s cool.  But speaking only on the Wings, come on.

ANYWAYS, Hitch is as old-school as it gets and the players can’t stand him.  The plan all along was for Yeo to come in as an assistant and work into the Head Coach position; I just don’t believe they planned for it to happen mid-season like this. 

I think it’s time for Hitch to hang ‘em up as a coach.  Perhaps he’d be good in a management role, but not so sure as a coach anymore.  I would definitely not want him coaching my team.

Posted by TreKronor on 02/01/17 at 10:21 AM ET

Paul's avatar

As a few have mentioned, I recall Hitchcock stating at the time this Yeo arrangement was made, he planned to stop coaching after this season.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 02/01/17 at 10:23 AM ET

Avatar

Blash needs to go sooner rather than later.  He is outclassed in every aspect of the game at this level.  But in no way is Hitchcock a suitable replacement.
   
    Posted by
     
    Hootinani
     
    from the parade following Babs out of town on 02/01/17 at 09:53 AM ET

Yep. He’s been a step too slow since the day he started, now he’s several steps behind.

Posted by Ventr on 02/01/17 at 10:27 AM ET

Avatar

66 yeah I recall that article too Paul.  He said he planned to retire,

Posted by SevensForTed on 02/01/17 at 11:48 AM ET

Primis's avatar

This is a really weird move.  This should raise some eyebrows about what a mess STL is.  Do they legitimately believe the Blues should be higher in the standings?  Because I’m really not sure they should be.

Posted by Primis on 02/01/17 at 12:17 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Kenny is way too loyal to throw Blash under the bus like that.
And to be frank I would feel awful for Blash if he got fired. This was a no win situation for him.

True. Even though Blashill is criticized for some coaching decisions (aren’t all coaches?), he is saddled with an injured under performing team. As mentioned in a previous post in another article today, Blashill like Babcock have been manged by Ken Holland about player usage. grrr

Posted by bigfrog on 02/01/17 at 09:14 PM ET

Avatar

This is a really weird move.  This should raise some eyebrows about what a mess STL is.  Do they legitimately believe the Blues should be higher in the standings?  Because I’m really not sure they should be.

I think it is a strange move as well but they did have high aspirations in St Louis and have been waiting an awful long time to get to the finals. Their personnel losses this season almost certainly put the team back but there is still enough talent to make a cup run if things fall into place at the right moment.

When a team comes off a fairly successful Stanley Cup run I don’t believe a team should fire a coach who still has them in playoff position. When the coach has a history of success even more reason not to fire him. Do it after the season if they fail. Of course there might be circumstances where he’s have to go I just don’t think this is one of them.

No, I don’t want him in Detroit. Hitchcock had already announced this would be his last season coaching. If he somehow changed his mind he wouldn’t be around long. I think he’d be too hard nose for shaping the new Detroit roster.

Posted by evileye on 02/03/17 at 09:08 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

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