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Former Blues coach Craig Berube officially hired to coach Maple Leafs

Matthew DeFranks, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Hockey

ST. LOUIS — Craig Berube has a new home.

Berube was hired by the Maple Leafs on Friday afternoon, as the former Blues coach takes over perhaps the most high-profile job in the NHL. Berube coached the Blues for parts of six seasons before he was fired in December after a 13-14-1 start in St. Louis.

The news was reported earlier on Friday by Sportsnet.

Berube won the 2019 Stanley Cup with the Blues after taking over as an interim coach when Mike Yeo was fired.

Berube left St. Louis as one of the most decorated coaches in Blues history. He ranks third in the franchise in regular-season games, regular-season wins, postseason games and postseason wins. Only Joel Quenneville and Ken Hitchcock have more regular-season accolades, while only Quenneville and Scotty Bowman have more playoff success than Berube.

During this summer's coaching carousel, Berube was regarded as the top coach on the market, and reportedly generated interest from Ottawa, New Jersey and Winnipeg, in addition to Toronto.

 

Berube is one of seven active coaches that have won the Stanley Cup, and he was the only one this summer available to hire. Jon Cooper (Tampa Bay), Mike Sullivan (Pittsburgh), Jared Bednar (Colorado), Bruce Cassidy (Vegas), Peter Laviolette (New York Rangers) and John Tortorella (Philadelphia) all already had jobs.

Berube takes over a Toronto team that has not won a Stanley Cup since 1967, and has won just one playoff round since 2004. The Maple Leafs lost to Boston in the first round of the playoffs this season, losing Game 7 in overtime to the Bruins.

Toronto is expected to make major changes to its roster this summer, potentially around its core four players of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander.

When the Blues fired Berube, it installed Drew Bannister as the interim coach. Under Bannister, the Blues went 30-19-5, a pace that would have been good for 99 points across a full 82-game season.

Earlier this month, the Blues hired Bannister on a full-time basis, signing him to a two-year contract that will expire the same time as general manager Doug Armstrong.


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