Blues hire Agnew, Hitchcock’s former assistant in Columbus

After Scott Mellanby left his assistant coaching post to become Montreal’s director of player development, the Blues knew they’d need a replacement.

Today, they found one — a familiar face, too.

St. Louis announced Gary Agnew will replace Mellanby as an assistant coach, joining Ray Bennett and Brad Shaw on Ken Hitchcock’s coaching staff.

(In related news, Shaw has been promoted from assistant to associate coach.)

It’s not surprising Hitchcock went with Agnew — the pair worked together in Columbus from 2006-10, leading the Blue Jackets to the first and only playoff appearance in franchise history. Agnew actually served as a temporary replacement prior to Hitchcock coming on board, serving five games as Columbus’ head coach after Gerard Gallant was let go.

Last season, Agnew coached the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League.

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    PHT Morning Skate: NHL GMs to meet; Lamoriello’s future with Leafs

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    Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at

    Joe Thornton’s long-lost brother was apparently at the game Saturday night. [Instagram]

    • Goalie interference will be a big topic at this week’s NHL general managers meetings. [The Star]

    • Lou Lamoriello’s future with the Toronto Maple Leafs remains up in the air. “Any decisions about the organization won’t be made until after the season is over,” Leafs president Brendan Shanahan told Elliotte Friedman. [Sportsnet]

    • The NCAA men’s bracket is set with St. Cloud State, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Cornell grabbing top seeds. [College Hockey News]

    • For the third time in five years, Clarkson’s women’s team won the NCAA title. The overtime goal, which was scored by Elizabeth Giguere (No relation to J.S.), was a terrific one. [NY Times]

    • Daryl Watts, freshman forward at Boston College, took home the 2018 Patty Kazmaier Award as the nation’s top women’s collegiate player. [USCHO]

    • With Ilya Kovalchuk interested in an NHL return this summer — and his rights no longer being owned by the New Jersey Devils — the New York Rangers should be all-in on the forward. [NY Post]

    • A good look at how these Winnipeg Jets have been built into a contender. [ESPN]

    • This season’s Hart Trophy race is quite the crowded field. [Tampa Bay Times]

    • The New York Islanders have really wasted what could be John Tavares‘ last season with the franchise. [Sporting News]

    • We’re coming up on a full NHL season without any head coaches being fired. [TSN]

    • General managers around the NHL muse about the Detroit Red Wings and rebuilds. [Freep]

    • Should the Carolina Hurricanes continue the changes and move on from Bill Peters? [Section 328]

    William Karlsson doesn’t look like he’s going to slow down as he continues this surprising season. [Toronto Sun]

    • How a minority hockey program helped one man become an officer in the Marines. [Color of Hockey]

    • Finally, Declan Farmer was the hero for the U.S. Paralympic hockey team, who won their third straight gold with a 2-1 win over Canada. [NBC Olympics]


    Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

    The Buzzer: William Karlsson’s wild night; Hart Trophy race intensifies

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    Players of the Night: 

    Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche: MacKinnon’s MVP campaign got a serious boost on Sunday, as he picked up two goals and an assist in a win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Avs forward is now riding a 12-game point streak. He better start making room on a shelf for a Hart Trophy.

    William Karlsson, Vegas Golden Knights: Karlsson continues to be one of the biggest surprises of the 2017-18 season. His natural hat trick against the Flames puts him at 39 goals on the season. Who would’ve thought that we’d be talking about him as a 40-goal scorer?

    Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning: Even though MacKinnon is rolling right now, Kucherov won’t go away quietly in the race for the MVP crown. The Lightning forward picked up two goals in Sunday’s win over the Oilers. Kucherov has 36 goals and 93 points in 70 games this season.

    Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks: DeBrincat scored his third hat trick of the season in a losing effort. The rookie has 25 goals and 45 points in 73 games this season. He has a chance to score 30 this year.

    Alex Pietrangelo and Vincent Dunn, St. Louis Blues: The Blues came away with a huge comeback win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Patrik Berglund scored the game-winner in overtime, but Pietrangelo and Dunn each had four points in the victory.

    Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets: Laine has been a scoring machine of late. He found the back of the net twice in Sunday’s win over the Dallas Stars. He’s now scored 43 goals in 72 games this season. Laine’s picked up at least one point in 15 consecutive games.

    Highlights of the Night: 

    A wicked one-timer from Wild Bill:

    That’s an incredible backhander from MacKinnon:

    Here’s an unorthodox save from Fleury

    Factoids of the Night: 

    Dunn Deal


    Oh and Laine is a teen sensation

    DeBrincat’s having an impressive rookie season:


    Avalanche 5, Red Wings 1
    Golden Knights 4, Flames 0
    Lightning 3, Oilers 1
    Hurricanes 4, Islanders 3
    Flyers 6, Capitals 3
    Blues 5, Blackhawks 4 (OT)
    Jets 4, Stars 2
    Ducks 4, Devils 2

    Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

    Blues keep playoff hopes alive with big OT win over ‘Hawks


    The St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks have played games with more significance, but that didn’t take away from the excitement of St. Louis’ 5-4 win in overtime.

    ‘Hawks forward Alex DeBrincat opened the game with two first-period goals before the Blues managed to tie the game in the second frame thanks to a pair of power-play tallies by Alexander Steen and Vincent Dunn, who also assisted on Steen’s marker.

    The Blues thought they went ahead late in the second, but this goal was called back:

    Chicago went up 3-2 heading into the second intermission after David Kampf put them back ahead.

    Dunn collected his third point of the night when Vladimir Sobotka scored the equalizer at the 15:24 mark of the third period, but again, DeBrincat scored just over one minute later.

    Alex Pietrangelo, who assisted on St. Louis’ first two goals, managed to tie the game with 18:38 remaining in the third period to force overtime. Dunn registered an assist on the game-tying marker to give him four points on the night.

    Pietrangelo then helped set up Patrik Berglund‘s game, so he also finished the game with four points when it was all said and done.

    Here’s the OT winner:

    Despite being sellers at the deadline, the Blues now find themselves just one point behind Anaheim for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. St. Louis has four more regulation/overtime wins than the Ducks, which could be key down the stretch.

    As for the Blackhawks, well, they’re done like dinner.

    Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

    Ben Bishop injured after making terrific glove save (Video)
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    After missing five games with a lower-body injury, Ben Bishop made his return to the Stars lineup on Friday night against Ottawa. Unfortunately for Bishop, he seems to have run into some more injury trouble tonight.

    The veteran netminder was hurt after he made a fantastic glove save on Jets forward Bryan Little on Sunday night. The Stars Twitter account already confirmed that he suffered a lower-body injury and that he wouldn’t be returning to the game.

    Kari Lehtonen took over between the pipes for Dallas.


    Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.