Just a little more than 24 hours ago, St. Louis Blues coach Craig Berube was named a finalist for the Jack Adams Award along with Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper and the New York Islanders’ Barry Trotz, an honor which goes to the best NHL coach. Strangely enough though, Berube isn’t the team’s permanent coach. Berube was brought in to replace the fired Mike Yeo on Nov. 20, but was handed the interim tag, a role he still has despite leading the franchise to an impressive run that got them into the postseason and through the first round of the playoffs.
Tom Timmermann and Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wonder why the franchise hasn’t removed Berube’s interim tag and named him the team’s permanent coach. He’s definitely earned that. Regardless, Berube isn’t too worried about it:
Honestly, I’m not even focused on that. I’m focused on the playoffs. That’s the honest truth. I have nothing to say about it. It’s a great honor for sure to be in the conversation with those other coaches. I’ve said that all along, it’s an organizational thing. Doug (Armstrong)’s done a great job of putting the players together and my coaching staff – obviously a great coaching staff – they’ve done a great job with these guys and the players.
- Michael Russo of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that the Minnesota Wild are close to bringing former local star Mike Modano to the organization in a front-office role. The Hall of Famer and franchise face played his first five seasons with the Minnesota North Stars before moving with the franchise to Dallas, where he played the next 16 seasons, but is now ready to move his family back to Minnesota where he will likely start on the business side in an ambassador-type of position. However, Russo adds that he will also likely have more of a hockey ops role down the road as well.
- Mike McIntyre of The Winnipeg Free Press suggests that the Winnipeg Jets need to act quickly and trade off defenseman Jacob Trouba before the team loses him in a year for nothing. Trouba, who has shown a reluctance to sign a long-term extension, will be a restricted free agent for the final time this off-season. If he opts to sign a one-year deal, he could be an unrestricted free agent after the 2019-20 season. McIntyre suggests the team needs to swap Trouba for a young, inexpensive defender, suggesting several teams, including the Philadelphia Flyers, as a trade partner. If they can make that trade quickly enough, it could give the Jets the opportunity to bring back Tyler Myers, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, with the money they saved from moving Trouba.