The Blues have given Ken Hitchcock a new deal for the 2014-15 season. They’ve also decided to bring back assistant coach Ray Bennett and associate coach Brad Shaw. Though these three will be returning, the collapse in the playoffs came at a cost as both Corey Hirsch and Gary Agnew will not be joining the team in 2014-15.
A lot of people were calling for Hitchcock’s head after the series loss to Chicago, but this is the correct move. Had the Blues let Hitchcock go, there would have been a line of teams trying to secure his services. He’s an outstanding coach. Though some were bothered by Hitchcock’s line juggling, most would agree that the issue was on the ice and not behind the bench.
The two departures are noteworthy. Agnew was the power play specialist and Hirsch was the goaltending coach. Both men were under fire after the power play failed to show up for the playoffs and continued to repeat a broken, obvious strategy and when Ryan Miller started playing deeper in his net, seemingly abandoning his old form. Hirsch was also criticized when Jaroslav Halak was brought in and struggled out of the gate, staying deep in his crease. Miller followed an almost identical routine.
It’s never easy to see two men lose their jobs, but the Blues made the right decisions here. The two areas the Blues were weak/awful in were goaltending and the power play. Hopefully two new faces and two new strategies make a difference in 2014-15.