Blues Fire Hitchcock
The St. Louis Blues fired head coach Ken Hitchcock. Assistant coach Mike Yeo will take over.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This season was to be Hitchcock’s last, with Yeo taking over next season. The Blues’ current struggles and the threat of falling out of playoff contention accelerated that plan.
It’ll be interesting to see how the roster responds. Their goaltending has struggled, especially young starter Jake Allen. They lack depth at center and their defensive play is deteriorating. Those are issues that perhaps a midseason coaching change won’t fix.
Then again, the New York Islanders are playing very well under interim coach Doug Weight after bench boss Jack Capuano was fired in mid-January. By replacing Hitchcock with Yeo, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong is hoping for the same result.
Perhaps the sense of HItchcock as a lame duck permeated the roster and they tuned him out. We’ll find out soon enough if Yeo, who had issues of his own in his former gig as Minnesota Wild coach, can get the Blues back on track.
If he can’t, Armstrong could face pressure to shake things up with a significant trade. Expect the trade rumors swirling about defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to persist.