The Blues announced a series of moves on Thursday that complete their coaching staff for the 2017-18 season, and which include a compliment of familiar names.
Craig Berube, the head coach of the Chicago Wolves in 2016-17 and former head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, was named Associate Coach. In that role, he’ll function as the primary assistant for Head Coach Mike Yeo. He was long expected to be named to the position, and with the Florida Panthers (Bob Boughner) and Buffalo Sabres (Phil Housley) having filled their coaching vacancies, Berube settled on a return to the Blues organization.
Daniel Tkaczuk, named Assistant/Skills coach, was an assistant of Berube’s in Chicago last season. Tkaczuk’s playing career included a stop in the Blues organization, as he dressed for 75 games in the AHL with the Worcester IceCats in 2001-02. Tkaczuk’s work was lauded by General Manager Doug Armstrong in a conference call which announced the termination of previous assistants Ray Bennett, Rick Wilson, and Steve Thomas, and like Berube, his appointment comes as expected.
David Alexander is a goaltending coach from New Brunswick who previously served as the goaltending coach for the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. Alexander brings a long relationship with Blues starting goaltender Jake Allen, having met Allen when he was 14 years old and a student at a summer goaltending clinic.
Today’s moves contribute to the Blues’ youth movement behind the bench. Though Alexander’s date of birth was not immediately available, the five other members of the coaching staff (Yeo, Berube, Tkaczuk, Steve Ott, Darryl Sydor) have a combined age of 42.2 years. Berube is the only member of the staff over the age of 50. Previous head coach Ken Hitchcock was the oldest coach in the NHL at 65.