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.
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.