As silly as it seemed to worry about Craig Berube not being the St. Louis Blues’ head coach after the team won its first ever Stanley Cup, there were those who were sweating the lack of an announcement nonetheless.
After all, we’ve seen some instances in which a coach wins it all, only to change locales. In fact, it just happened with the coach before Berube, as the Washington Capitals didn’t bring back Barry Trotz after winning the 2018 Stanley Cup, only for Trotz to win the Jack Adams with the resurgent New York Islanders. (Also: Mike Keenan.)
With Trotz, there was a succession plan already in place in Washington, so they move on with Todd Reirden. The Blues clearly weren’t penciling in Berube as a sure-thing, either, what with Berube being a mid-season replacement for Mike Yeo, and Berube carrying the “interim” title for a curious amount of time.
Well, any mild concerns were put to rest, anyway, on Tuesday. The Blues announced that Berube has been signed to a three-year contract.
[Berube helped Blues find identity after early-season struggle]
It’s slightly disappointing that the money details haven’t leaked (yet?), as it would be intriguing to find out what Berube is getting paid. As much as winning it all drives up your bargaining power, there’s also not the greatest market for coaching jobs by late June, and Berube is likely relieved to not only coach a clearly talented team, but also to find a stable position.
(Stable by the almost inherently unstable standards of coaching jobs in the NHL, at least.)
The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford tracked down some quotes on the re-upping, including from Blues GM Doug Armstrong.
It’s been quite the whirlwind year for Berube. He took over for Yeo, saw the ascent of Jordan Binnington, earned a Jack Adams nomination, and then made some deft moves in helping the Blues win the Stanley Cup. Berube’s three-year extension is well-earned, and while he likely isn’t losing any sleep over it, you could very well argue that his Jack Adams case was even better than that of Trotz.
With this question answered, we can move on to the next one: can Berube and the Blues back this all with a strong encore?
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.