St. Louis Blues Hiring Darryl Sydor Was A No Brainer

Mar 16, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; St. Louis Blues head coach Mike Yeo discusses with the team a play in the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Blues won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; St. Louis Blues head coach Mike Yeo discusses with the team a play in the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Blues won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Blues have begun to fill out their coaching vacancies. They still have a couple holes to fill, but the first name out of the hat was not a very big surprise.

When the St. Louis Blues fired Rick Wilson, it was a bit surprising. Not so much because he was an irreplaceable asset, but because many assumed he was brought in due to his previous experience on a Mike Yeo staff.

That said, his loss might not have been a great one – might being the key word. Wilson’s troops, the defenders, had some of their worst years in recent memory. Things came around when Yeo took over, of course, but as a group it was not a great season for the blueliners.

That could change in 2017-18. In fact, it had better change, but there will definitely be a new man in charge. The Blues have brought in a more dynamic former player to head up their potentially more dynamic defenders.

Darryl Sydor was hired on Wednesday to start rounding out Yeo’s staff. Sydor has signed a three-year deal to move back up to the NHL after spending a season in the AHL.

Sydor won’t be a complete stranger to the Blues either. His season in the AHL last year was with the Blues affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.

Knowing that should really help the Blues make some important decisions over the summer and once training camp begins. Doug Armstrong has already said that someone out of Jordan Schmaltz, Vince Dunn or Jake Walman will be playing with the Blues next season.

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While Walman spent most of his time in college, the other two had plenty of time to develop under Sydor already. Dunn had 45 points last year with the Wolves. Schmaltz had 25 in 42 games and even Walman had three in seven regular season games and three points in eight playoff games.

It helps that those guys are a little more inclined to that game to begin with. Having Sydor teach them certainly does not hurt though.

Sydor was a two time champion in his own right, winning with Dallas and Tampa Bay. He also went to the final with Pittsburgh, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Sydor was an offensive defenseman when it was not en vogue to do so. He scored over 40 points in four of his 18 seasons. He also averaged almost 30 points over the course of his entire season.

In a bit of coincidence, he also ended his playing career with the Blues. Sydor played in 47 games in 2009-10 and had eight assists.

That has nothing to do with anything other than a little bit of coming full circle. If nothing else, the hire of Sydor gives the Blues staff some chemistry of their own.

Yeo hired Sydor to his first coaching job when Yeo was with the Houston Aeros of the AHL. The two then reunited when Yeo was put in charge of the Minnesota Wild.

“I am excited to have Darryl back on my staff,” said Yeo. “He was an outstanding teacher during our time in Minnesota and will add a wealth of experience and knowledge to our team.”

At this point, it would be surprising if Sydor was not joined by his fellow Wolves coaches. They were widely considered the favorites for the job to begin with and Sydor has grabbed the first spot.

Craig Berube is likely being allowed to look for other head coaching jobs as a courtesy. It would be hard to believe the Blues would not bring him on board after the year he had with all of the Blues prospects.

Fellow assistant Daniel Tkaczuk will likely also be considered according to several sources close to the team, such as Jeremy Rutherford and Tom Timmerman.

In the end, the Blues will fill out their staff with guys they feel will best suit the players they have in the NHL. Berube would be an excellent coach, but maybe he is better with prospects as opposed to NHL guys.

Sydor has proven his ability to do both quite well so far. He is not a miracle worker, but it would be hard to believe the Blues won’t improve, at least offensively from the point. If he can get guys to shoot from the point more on the powerplay, then we are really in business.