ST. LOUIS — After developing a close bond with Tony La Russa in recent years, St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock was excited to see the longtime St. Louis Cardinals manager elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday.
"He's a champion because he's so prepared," Hitchcock said. "He should have been a hockey coach. He has that mentality and I think the world of him.
"We've develoepd a great friendship, there's great support from either side. Our families are really good friends with each other."
Hitchcock enjoyed watching La Russa's teams and talking to the former Cards skipper about his coaching philosophies and motivation.
"For me, he is a great coach because he's one step ahead of it every time," Hitchcock said. "He's developed a coaching method where he can see around corners and that's his biggest strength. He knows what's going to happen before it happens.
"His ability to predict has really helped his team win championships. I think that comes from a combination of experience and preparation. He's just way ahead of the curve."