St. Louis Blues remove Interim tag, name Drew Bannister head coach

Ottawa Senators v St Louis Blues
Ottawa Senators v St Louis Blues / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

Drew Bannister has been officially named as the head coach of the St. Louis Blues, with the interim tag being removed. The team and Bannister have reached an agreement, signing a two-year deal.

The move comes amid speculation that Bannister was the front-runner, garnering verbal support from players such as Robert Thomas.

Bannister’s 30-19-5 record speaks for itself. He also performed well within the AHL ranks, leading the Springfield Thunderbirds to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2021 and 2022, even making the Calder Cup Finals.

While some Blues fans are still dealing with the surprise firing of former head coach Craig Berube, Bannister’s success is noteworthy.

The two-year contract signed by Bannister is not just a formality. It’s a signal from GM Doug Armstrong that he sees potential in Bannister and wants to see more from him in the coming seasons.

It’s time to plan for next season

Now that the Blues have an official coach, the team will look towards the offseason and seek improvements in their already talented roster.

The news comes on the day the NHL Draft Lottery will take place. Perhaps it was strategic for Armstrong, as he can now focus more on scouting for the upcoming draft.

Clearly, the move should give Blues players a sigh of relief, knowing they now have a foundational coach whom they got to know well in regular season play.

Armstrong continues to be busy, signing several contracts with players last week.

The opportunity to succeed is now in Bannister’s hands. We wish him well.