Why Lindy Ruff Could Be a Good Head Coaching Hire (In the Distant Future)

Drew Bannister has done a good job leading the Blues since the dismissal of Craig Berube, but just in case the former AHL affiliate coach doesn't work out, the veteran Ruff could serve as an admirable replacement.

New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens
New Jersey Devils v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

On the Monday before the NHL trade deadline, the New Jersey Devils fired veteran head coach Lindy Ruff after a 30-27-4 record. That opened up an opportunity for the St. Louis Blues to give a new job to one of the NHL's greatest active bench bosses.

Of course, right now isn't quite a concern with Drew Bannister's good leadership holding the Blues afloat, but in the case things continue to go downhill, Ruff could be an admirable replacement. What makes him such a good candidate? Here's a couple things of note.

Ruff is 4th in All-Time Coaching Wins

Just above Panthers bench boss Paul Marice by a mere 4 games, Ruff has racked up 864 career wins with the likes of the Sabres, Stars, and, of course, the Devils, with 1774 games led. He may be a little bit under .500 in win percentage all time, but being in the top 5 in career wins for coaches is no slouch.

Ruff is also a Jack Adams Award winner (best NHL coach) in the 2005-06 season and has led teams to 2 different conference finals in 2003-04 and 2006-07, both with the Buffalo Sabres. Clearly, Ruff has deep playoff experience and hiring a head coach with that kind of resume would be huge, even instrumental, in getting St. Louis back to a conference finals appearance of its own and maybe even further.

Ruff is A Good Mentor for Younger Players

Over the past 3 seasons or so, the Devils have managed to build one of the NHL's premier farm systems, or how teams develop rookies from the minors to the majors. Part of that has come from Ruff's teaching ability, seeing as how the Devils now have several young star players, almost like the Blues do, with the likes of the Hughes brothers, captain Nico Hischier, and D Jesper Bratt to name a few.

The Blues' young guns of Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Jake Neighbours, among others, could equally benefit from being under Ruff's wing. There's a couple other Blues players that could use some tutelage as well, such as Minnesota powerhouse Jimmy Snuggerud, still looking to make his NHL debut sometime soon, and the newest rookie Zachary Bolduc, who's already scored 1 goal in 8 career games with the Blues this season.

Like mentioned at the beginning, the Blues aren't currently hunting for a new head coaching hire as Drew Bannister continues to lead the team in a potential wild card playoff hunt. But just in case, they should keep Ruff on their radar should any situation come up where they need to fill the top team spot. Any coaching change is still not really about to happen until at least next season, which could be Bannister's first full one in charge of a major professional team.