No time­line for Blues hir­ing head coach fol­low­ing Yeo’s exit

The Peterborough Examiner - - Sports - WAR­REN MAYES

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues will be cast­ing a wide net in their coach­ing search.

Gen­eral man­ager Doug Arm­strong fired Mike Yeo af­ter Mon­day’s 2-0 Na­tional Hockey League loss to the Los An­ge­les Kings. Craig Berube is the in­terim coach while Arm­strong as­sem­bles a list of can­di­dates for the per­ma­nent job.

“There’s go­ing to be ex­pe­ri­enced head coaches on that list,” he said at a news con­fer­ence Tues­day. “There’s go­ing to be Euro­pean head coaches on that list. Col­lege head coaches on that list. Ju­nior head coaches. We’re not go­ing to min­i­mize or limit the scope that we’re go­ing to look at.”

Arm­strong also did not rule out for­mer St. Louis coach Joel Quen­neville, who was fired re­cently by Chicago. He added that’s un­likely a per­ma­nent coach will be hired this sea­son.

“It’s pos­si­ble. I’m not sure it’s prob­a­ble,” Arm­strong said. “It’s not some­thing that we’re go­ing to give up­dates on. This hockey team’s job is to win games and it’s my job to sup­port this team.”

To that end, Hall of Famer Larry Robin­son will as­sist Berube for three weeks to a month be­cause of the in­ex­pe­ri­enced as­sis­tants. The 67-year-old Robin­son won a Stan­ley Cup while coach­ing the New Jer­sey Dev­ils.

“I think hav­ing Larry come in to give Craig some­one to talk to who’s been there, done that is good for him,” Arm­strong said.

Arm­strong fired Yeo about two hours af­ter the team’s third shutout loss in four games. It was their fourth loss in five games. The score­less streak is more than seven pe­ri­ods.

At 7-9-3, the Blues are last in the Cen­tral Di­vi­sion. Their 17 points rank next to last in the NHL, ahead of only Los An­ge­les.

“The talk I had with him last night was that we had to make a change,” Arm­strong said. “I plan to get back to Mike later and thank him and re­as­sure him that he’s pay­ing for the sins of my­self and the en­tire or­ga­ni­za­tion. It’s very un­for­tu­nate.”

The Blues fell one point short of mak­ing the play­offs last sea­son and en­tered this sea­son with hopes of a deep play­off run. They ac­quired cen­tre Ryan O’Reilly in a trade from Buf­falo. Arm­strong also signed for­wards Tyler Bozak, Patrick Ma­roon and David Per­ron.

“Ul­ti­mately, it comes back to our record,” Arm­strong said. “When he came in, he was able to jell the team and we went on a nice run. We won a play­off round. We had a good feel­ing about our­selves. That car­ried over to the next 25 games of the sea­son. Then we hit a rut in De­cem­ber and quite hon­estly we haven’t got­ten out of it.”

Berube, a 52-year-old for­mer player, joined the Blues in June 2017. He coached the team’s then-AHL af­fil­i­ate — the Chicago Wolves — to a 44-19-13 record and a di­vi­sion ti­tle dur­ing the 2016-17 sea­son.

Berube is a mid­sea­son re­place­ment for the sec­ond time, hav­ing suc­ceeded Peter Lavi­o­lette with the Fly­ers three games into the 2013-14 sea­son.

Craig Berube

Mike Yeo

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