Who is the best fit to serve as the top assistant on Mike Yeo’s newly-formed coaching staff?
The St. Louis Blues announced earlier this month that none of the assistants who worked under Ken Hitchcock, then Mike Yeo, would return for the 2017-18 season. They’ve spent the past week or so assembling a staff that more closely fits Yeo’s needs as the head coach, and they’ve begun to fill vacancies over the past couple days.
Former Blues defenseman Darryl Sydor, who has previously worked under Yeo at both the AHL and NHL levels and served as an assistant for the Blues’ AHL affiliate last season, was elevated to the NHL staff on Wednesday. Former Blues forward and noted agitator Steve Ott announced his retirement as a player on Thursday and was hired as an assistant.
In addition to the goalie coach that they still have yet to hire, the Blues will certainly hire at least one more assistant to coordinate their power play, though it’s possible that they could hire two more since they had four on the staff prior to Hitchcock’s firing this past season. Unless they hire two more coaches, it’s likely that the final assistant hired will be a veteran coach who can serve as an authority figure to help balance out Sydor and Ott, who were both teammates with a not-insignificant number of current players.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most likely candidates to fill that opening. We’ll get started with a guy who has NHL head coaching experience but joined the Blues organization to rebuild his reputation last summer: