Berube signs three-year contract to remain Blues coach

 nhl.com  06/25/2019 17:34:59 

Craig Berube signed a three-year contract to remain coach of the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

Berube, who led the Blues to their first Stanley Cup championship this season, went 38-19-6 in 63 games after taking over for Mike Yeo who was fired on Nov. 19. The Blues defeated the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks and Boston Bruins to win the Cup.

"This is a proud day for me and my family," Berube said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for this team and this organization and the city of St. Louis has embraced me as one of their own. This past season was the experience of a lifetime and I'm anxious to get started on our title defense."

Berube, 53, was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year after guiding the Blues to the playoffs and a 30-10-5 record following them being in last place in the NHL standings on Jan. 3. The award was won by New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz.

"Craig made an enormous impact on our team when he took over last November," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "He restored our identity and provided our players with a clear sense of direction and purpose. The chemistry and trust that he developed with our players was integral in bringing our franchise the 2019 Stanley Cup."

Since the Blues entered the NHL for the 1967-68 season, no other team in any of the four major North American sports leagues had won a championship after being in last place after one quarter or more of the season, let alone reached the final.

"We were going to support Craig and we were looking outside at potential candidates, whether it be major junior, Europe, the NHL, the American Hockey League," Armstrong said on May 10 prior to the Western Conference Final. "And as I started to work with Craig, whatever name was on the (candidate) list started to get crossed off and crossed off. Then I found the synergy that Craig and I have had. Now we're at a list of one."

Berube, who also coached the Philadelphia Flyers for two seasons from 2013-15, is 113-77-34 in 224 regular-season games and 19-14 in 33 playoff games.

As a player, Berube appeared in 17 NHL seasons, including stints with the Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals and Islanders. Berube posted 159 points (61 goals, 98 assists) and 3,149 penalty minutes across 1,054 regular-season games.

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