St. Louis’ wholesale changes under head coach Mike Yeo are complete.
Having previously added Darryl Sydor and Steve Ott as assistant coaches, the Blues on Thursday announced that Craig Berube would join as an associate coach, Daniel Tkazcuk as an assistant/skills coach and David Alexander as the new goalie coach.
The Alexander hire is intriguing, especially given how tumultuous last season was — and not just for No. 1 netminder Jake Allen. The goalie coach position was in a constant state of flux. The Blues opened the year with Jim Corsi manning the job, but Corsi was fired midseason along with Ken Hitchcock. Martin Brodeur and Ty Conklin then shared duties on an interim basis but, last month, Conklin was let go while Brodeur said he would relinquish the role to focus on his job as assistant GM.
More on Alexander, from the Blues:
Alexander has spent the last four seasons in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization, working as the goalie coach for the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. Last season, the Crunch won the Eastern Conference title but eventually lost in the Calder Cup Finals. Alexander works with Allen in the offseason and has also worked with Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and Hurricanes goalie Scott Darling.
“He’s a younger coach but current with today’s players and we think he’s going to be really good for this organization,” said Armstrong. “Not just Jake, but (Carter) Hutton and (Ville) Husso and the whole group.”
Berube comes aboard having spent last year as the head coach of the Blues’ AHL affiliate in Chicago. He has a wealth of playing experience — appearing in over 1,000 games with the Flyers, Maple Leafs, Flames, Caps and Isles — and is a veteran bench boss. He previously served as both a head and assistant coach in Philly.
Tkaczuk was Berube’s assistant in Chicago last year. Prior to that, he spent time in the OHL with Kitchener and Owen Sound.
Related: Blues bring back Jackman as coach, a ‘great benefit to our young defensemen’
The Vancouver Canucks have finally settled on a head coach for their AHL affiliate.
Today, Trent Cull was named new bench boss of the Utica Comets.
Cull replaces Travis Green, the new head coach of the Canucks.
“Trent is a passionate head coach with significant AHL experience,” Canucks GM Jim Benning said in a release. “He understands the development path of a young player, including the challenges they face, and has been a part of many successful organizations. Trent is a teacher with a positive, energetic work ethic. We’re excited to welcome him and his family to our organization.”
The past four seasons, Cull has been an assistant coach for AHL Syracuse. The Crunch made it all the way to the 2017 Calder Cup Final, where they lost to Grand Rapids.
Cull, 43, has never been a head coach in the AHL, though he did hold that role for three years with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves from 2010-13.
It’s believed the Canucks’ first choice for the Utica job was Rocky Thompson. However, Thompson chose instead to become head coach of Vegas’ AHL affiliate in Chicago.
DETROIT (AP) A worker has died after falling 75 feet at the Little Caesars Arena worksite north of downtown Detroit.
Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner David Fornell says the 46-year-old man was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived about 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Other workers had started cardiopulmonary resuscitation which first responders continued. The man was taken to a Detroit hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Fornell says officials were told the man was an electrical worker and may have fallen from a catwalk. He says the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration likely will investigate.
The arena will be home to the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the NBA’s Pistons. It is scheduled to open this fall.
More on the story from the Detroit Free Press.
Montreal secured some forward depth on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with Jacob De La Rose.
De La Rose, 22, was taken 34th overall at the 2013 draft and has appeared in 64 games for Montreal over the last three seasons. He had a nice debut for the club in ’14-15 — appearing in 33 regular-season contests, and 12 playoff games — but has since spent the majority of his time in AHL St. John’s.
That might not be the case moving forward, however.
De La Rose’s deal is worth $725,000 (per TSN) and, importantly, is of the one-way variety. There could be more opportunities at forward next season. Montreal has already said it’ll pass on bringing back UFAs Brian Flynn and Dwight King, and it’s unclear if the club will get a deal done with Alexander Radulov.
It’s also unclear what GM Marc Bergevin plans to do with Alex Galchenyuk, who’s been the subject of numerous trade rumors.
Dmitry Kulikov had a bad season in Buffalo. There’s no debating that.
Not only did the defenseman struggle statistically, finishing minus-26 with just two goals and three assists, he also had trouble staying healthy, appearing in just 47 games for the Sabres.
But despite all that, Kulikov seems to be generating plenty of interest as an unrestricted free agent. Presumably, the hope among his many suitors is that he can bounce back, so long as he’s put in a better situation.
Kulikov is still just 26. And before he was traded to Buffalo a year ago, he’d had a number of respectable seasons with the Florida Panthers.
It’s why the Sabres were so happy to get him.
“He’s a good player,” then-GM Tim Murray said last June, per NHL.com. “I like guys that are honest, I like guys that are hard to play against, I certainly like guys that can make a tape-to-tape pass, and with our forwards, I think if he can make a tape-to-tape pass, good things are going to happen in transition with the skill and speed we already have here, so he’s just a great fit.”
Of course, it wasn’t a great fit, and Murray is no longer the GM.
As for Kulikov, there’s “about a dozen” interested teams, according to his agent. Ottawa and Winnipeg are believed to be among them.