St. Louis Blues

Blues remove ‘interim’ tag from Berube’s title with new, three-year contract

The St. Louis Blues Tuesday officially took the interim tag off coach Craig Berube.

Brought in to replace Mike Yeo, who was fired on Nov. 19, Berube directed the Blues’ historical surge from last in the National Hockey League to unlikely Stanley Cup champions.

St. Louis rewarded Berube, 53, with a three-year contract Tuesday.

“Craig made an enormous impact on our team when he took over last November,” general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement. “He restored our identity and provided our players with a clear sense of direction and purpose. The chemistry and trust that he developed with our players was integral in bringing our franchise the 2019 Stanley Cup.”

The Blues were 30-10-5 between Jan. 1 and the end of the regular season. In the playoffs, they defeated the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks before knocking off the Boston Bruins in a seven-game Stanley Cup Final.

It was the Blues’ first shot at an NHL championship since 1970, ending one of the longest championship droughts in the NHL.

“This is a proud day for me and my family,” Berube said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for this team and this organization and the city of St. Louis has embraced me as one of their own. This past season was the experience of a lifetime and I’m anxious to get started on our title defense.”

He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Coach of the Year trophy, which eventually went to New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz.

A 17-year NHL veteran, including stints with six different teams, Berube previously coached the Philadelphia Flyers for two seasons from 2013 to 2015.