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Blues extend Hitchcock, part ways with Agnew and Hirsch

May 7, 2014, 3:36 PM EDT

Head coach Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues leads his team against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on February 20, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Blues 1-0 in overtime.
(February 19, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The St. Louis Blues have given head coach Ken Hitchcock a one-year contract extension, the club announced on Wednesday.

Hitchcock, who led the team to a franchise-best 52 wins last season but suffered a second consecutive opening-round playoff loss, will be back behind the bench next year along with assistant Ray Bennett and associate coach Brad Shaw.

The Blues did make a couple of changes following their disappointing defeat to Chicago, however, opting to part ways with assistant coach Gary Agnew — who had been with the club since 2012 — and goalie coach Corey Hirsch.

“I would like to thank Gary and Corey for their diligence and dedication as members of our organization, and wish them nothing but success in their future endeavors,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said in a statement.

Hitchcock’s one-year extension is interesting, as it seems pretty clear his future in St. Louis will be decided by what the team does in next year’s playoffs. The Blues have enjoyed tremendous success over the last three regular seasons but have faltered in the postseason, advancing to the second round just once while getting dumped in consecutive years by the two defending Stanley Cup champions, Los Angeles and Chicago.

  1. thefutureofoil - May 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    Not a Blues fan, but you have to keep in mind the West is brutal. Losing to the Kings and Hawks is nothing to be ashamed about.

    • paperlions - May 8, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      No, it isn’t anything to be ashamed of, but it is also not good enough.

  2. maalea - May 7, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Maybe next year they won’t have to face the defending Cup Champion in the 1st round.

  3. csilojohnson - May 7, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    Have to beat the best to be the best.

  4. gbart22 - May 7, 2014 at 8:50 PM

    Everyone should remember where the blues were before Hitchcock. They’d be fools to let him go. This is one of the aspects that bugs me most about teams. They struggle struggle struggle for years then when they get good they blame the coach made them good in the first place for not advancing further in the playoffs. Tell me how has that mentality worked out in Washington after letting Boudreau go? Where is Boudreau now? Can Hitchcock not get them to the cup? I believe his cup win and multiple trips to the finals would beg to differ. It’s just silly and I hope they do over react and let him go. He will be unemployed for all of a few days and the blues will return to barely making the playoffs or missing the playoffs. I’m not against coaching changes sometimes it is needed but not when you’re winning 50 plus games a year.

  5. gbart22 - May 7, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    And as a previous commenter you have to get through to very hard teams in Chicago and la to get out of the west and that is brutal. Its nothing to be ashamed of though

  6. joey4id - May 8, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    This is far from a “boost of confidence” contract. This is more like of “your on the fence contract.”

  7. ovi8hull16 - May 8, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    They should sign Oates as the assistant. He can fix that PP up real nice.

  8. bluesdroogie - May 8, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    We kept Brad Shaw, wasn’t he responsible for the terrible powerplay the blues had after about the halfway season mark. we had many stretches of 0-20 something. the blues continued the terrible pp set up that the hawks we crushing and that directly led to us losing games in the playoffs. the pass pass pass look for the perfect shot was terrible and predictable. We also could not get any shots through from the point.

    NOTE TO THE REST OF THE LEAGUE

    In order to stop the Blues pp next season put pressure on steen or oshie at the point and wait for them to lose the puck. keep pressure on the d man as he will get the puck.

    The Blues failed to generate pressure low on their pp’s and that is Brad Shaw’s fault completely. Cannot believe they brought him back.

    Sick of Hitch saying “I think we got away from our game, if we just keep playing our game we will get chances” How far did that get us in the playoffs 2 straight seasons. We won 2 games and then lost 4 in a row. Blues are lacking a true goal scorer and maybe a shakeup in offense is in order.

    Take the money that we used to pay morrow and roy and put that towards a proven goal scorer. Not sure who is out there, but we need someone.

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