The St. Louis Blues have filled out the rest of next season’s coaching staff, hiring Mike Weber as an assistant coach and Michael Babcock as a skills coach today. Late last week, we covered how the Blues were looking to replace their two coaching vacancies soon, in which the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Matthew DeFranks hinted at the possibility of a skills coach hire.
Weber, 35, played 351 NHL games across an eight-season career with the Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals. He’d since returned to the Sabres organization, spending the past three seasons as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Rochester Americans. Michael Babcock is the son of soon-to-be Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Mike Babcock, and despite being just 28 years old, this isn’t his first NHL job. He spent the 2022-23 campaign with the Ottawa Senators, doing work with pre-scouting and on-ice skill development, the Blues said.
- New Jersey Devils winger prospect Arseni Gritsyuk won’t be heading to North America until 2025, his agent told NJ.com’s Ryan Novozinsky. Selected in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL Draft, Gritsyuk, now 22, broke out for 15 goals and 40 points in 66 KHL games this season with Avangard Omsk. The 5-foot-11, 192-pound Russian’s speed is his defining factor, and the Devils certainly hope that production transfers over in two seasons when Gritsyuk joins the team.
- The Detroit Red Wings have named Dan Watson the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, the team said today. Watson had spent the past six years in the organization as the head coach of their ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye, so he’ll have familiarity with a spattering of players already on the Griffins’ roster. Before that, he was an associate coach in Toledo alongside then-head coach Derek Lalonde, now behind Detroit’s NHL bench.