3 reasons why the St. Louis Blues promoting Drew Bannister was a good decision

The St. Louis Blues promoted Drew Bannister to head coach on May 7th, which made for an excellent decision for the franchise moving forward.
St Louis Blues v Montreal Canadiens
St Louis Blues v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
1 of 3

Last month, I endorsed a Drew Bannister hiring, and now, St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong turned that endorsement into a reality. Overall, we can agree Bannister made for what was, at the time, a good interim successor to former head coach Craig Berube, and he more than deserved an extended look to get rid of the interim tag. 

Now that he’s the man in charge full-time and for the foreseeable future, Bannister no longer needs to worry about his job security. It’s all about returning the Blues to the NHL Playoffs, where they will be just six seasons removed from winning the Stanley Cup. 

As the headline of this article suggests, I’ve stuck with my endorsement of Bannister over the past two weeks, and now it begs the question: Why was it a good decision to keep him on board? Let’s talk about three ways Armstrong may have struck gold here. 

Bannister had the Blues on a playoff pace

When a head coach gets a mediocre team back on track and in the playoff race, it says a lot, and Bannister was one of a few interim coaches this season who managed to get the most out of their group. No, he didn’t take the Blues as far as Kris Knoblauch or Patrick Roy took the Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders, respectively. But the former inherited a great, albeit struggling unit, and the latter led his group to a third-place finish in what was otherwise a bad division. 

Sure, Bannister could have done more to inch the Blues past the Vegas Golden Knights in the wild card race, but he took a team that once had a losing record and catapulted them to a late-season run. And he did it with a group that ended up promoting a few prospects later in the season and one that couldn’t put up consistent scoring numbers. 

Overall, this team looked hopeless and further on the decline when Bannister stepped in, and he made the season interesting for players and fans.