St. Louis Blues: Is Drew Bannister prepared to handle the pressure as head coach?

With Drew Bannister taking over as the official head coach of the St. Louis Blues, the big question is: can he handle the pressure?   
Ottawa Senators v St Louis Blues
Ottawa Senators v St Louis Blues / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

Drew Bannister, the St. Louis Blues recently named permanent head coach, signed a two-year contract last week.

Bannister is undoubtedly pleased with general manager Doug Armstrong's commitment. However, the contract also serves as a cautious signal.

The expectations are high

Many Blues fans are still recovering from the termination of beloved coach Craig Berube. Berube was fired amid a 13-14-1 record and finished below .500 the year before posting a 37-38-7 record.

Armstrong became concerned with a losing record and changed course, naming Drew Bannister the interim replacement. Bannister finished the season with a final standing of 30-19-5.

However, it wasn't only Berube who faced firing during regular season play. The team fired his predecessor, Mike Yeo, after a 7-9-3 performance during the 2018-19 season.

Yeo took over from Ken Hitchcock, who was fired during the season with a 24-21-5 record.

Any quick evaluation of the head coaches working under Armstrong indicates they hold the position with high expectations. Armstrong has little patience for mediocre play and has proven to pull the trigger during the season to make changes when necessary.

Hitchcock, Yeo, and Berube were all fired during the season.

Bannister's two-year contract is a commitment, albeit a limited one.

Working under Armstrong is not for the weak at heart. His expectations to win are clear. Whether the coach agrees with roster decisions made by the general manager or not, Armstrong has a high standard and has proven to provide quality players for all of his coaches.

Bannister can succeed

Bannister has the experience and record to succeed. His competitive nature resembles Berube's, which could decide whether he will prosper with the current roster.

Whether fans agree with Armstrong and his decision-making, the Blues have won and won a lot under his tenure. The perfect ending of the story remains to be seen. However, Bannister can flourish and grow a relationship with Armstrong. To do so, Bannister must put a team on the ice that competes in every game and trusts him as their leader. 

One thing is sure: Bannister knew the expectations before taking the job. He is confident in himself and his approach.