May 8 2014, 2:46am CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
The Blues issued a press release on their official website:
"St. Louis Blues president of hockey operations and general manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has extended the contract of head coach Ken Hitchcock for the 2014-15 season.
"Associate coach Brad Shaw and assistant coach Ray Bennett will also return for the upcoming season.
"In addition, the club announced that assistant coach Gary Agnew and goaltending coach Corey Hirsch will not rejoin the team. A search to complete the coaching staff will begin immediately and the club will have no further comment until replacements are named.
"'I would like to thank Gary and Corey for their diligence and dedication as members of our organization, and wish them nothing but success in their future endeavors,' said Armstrong."
"'We've made a home here,' Hitchcock said last week. 'We've made significant progress here. I know it doesn't feel like progress to people right now, but it is.'
"In three seasons, Hitchcock has led the Blues to a regular-season record of 124-55-20, highlighted by a franchise-record 52 wins this season. The club has made three consecutive playoff appearances under Hitchcock but twice lost in the first round.
"'Ken has done such as solid, strong job in his three years here,' Armstrong said last week."
Rutherford identifies Buffalo Sabres goaltending coach Jim Corsi as a potential replacement for Hirsch. Corsi was Blues goaltender Ryan Miller's goalies coach during his 11-year stint in Buffalo. Hiring Corsi would make even more sens should Miller, an unrestricted free agent, decide to renew his contract with the Blues.
On the other hand, candidates who may potentially replace Agnew are former Florida Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen, former Carolina Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller and former Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates, per Rutherford.
Dineen and Muller have the advantage as both of them suited up for Hitchcock during their playing days with the Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars, respectively, The St. Louis Post-Disptach report adds.
Hitchcock has amassed a career NHL coaching record of 657-405-178 with the Stars, Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Blues, per ESPN. He is currently seventh all-time in terms of coaching victories and second among coaches who are still active.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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