Mike Yeo and Rick Wilson Join St. Louis Blues Coaching Staff

After being eliminated in the Conference Final, the St. Louis Blues had plenty of decisions to make in regards to their future, including re-signing David Backes and Troy Brouwer on the players’ side. On the management side, replacing assistant coach Kirk Muller and associate coach Brad Shaw were two that were near the top of the list. The team can scratch those tasks off the list as they have hired Mike Yeo and Rick Wilson to fill those positions.

The team also announced that Yeo will take over as the team’s head coach in 2017-2018.  Ken Hitchcock was signed to a one year contract for the 2016-2017 season and announced he will be retiring after that season.

Mike Yeo announced as Assistant Coach

Yeo spent the last five seasons as the coach of the Minnesota Wild. He lead the club to a 173-132-44 record, including a second-best team record of 46-28-8 in 2014-2015. He has also guided the team to three postseason appearances, with back-to-back trips to the second round in 2014 and 2015 (Losses to the Chicago Blackhawks). Yeo was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Wild back in February being replaced by John Torchetti when the team lost 13 of 14 games.

The 42-year old Toronto native also spent one season in the American Hockey league, where he coached the Houston Aeros to the 2011 Calder Cup Final. Previously, he spent 10 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, where he was a part of the 2009 Stanley Cup championship. He served four seasons  as an assistant with the big club, reprising his role as an assistant from his days in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the AHL affiliate, where he spent six campaigns with the same duties.

While never making it to the NHL due to a career-ending knee injury, Yeo captained the Houston Aeros to the Turner Cup Championship in 1998-99. He also spent a brief part of the 1999-2000 season with Wilkes Barre before the injury ended his career 19 games into the AHL season.

“For being 42 years old, he’s got a lot of experience. He’s won a Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh, he’s taken an American League team to the finals and you saw the good job he did in Minnesota in taking that team to the second round. What excites me is his experience, but with his age, he can really relate to today’s players and it’s an exciting day for our team.”
-Blues GM Doug Armstrong

Rick Wilson announced as Associate Coach

Wilson has spent a total of 27 seasons behind an NHL bench, as well as eight seasons as an assistant in three different leagues (WCHA, SJHL, WHL). He was an assistant coach with the New York Islanders for one year in 1988-89, the Los Angeles Kings for three seasons (1989-92),  and the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars for ten seasons (1993-2002), where he was a part of a Hitchcock staff that won the Stanley Cup in 1999.

Wilson also spent a brief time as head coach in 2002 for the Dallas Stars. The team went 13-11-7 during his tenure, and he prompted to remain on the bench as an associate head coach for the next six seasons in the Big D. After one additional season as an associate in Tampa Bay and a year off, he’s spent the last five seasons in Minnesota with Yeo’s staff.

Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens during the 1970 NHL Amateur Draft, Wilson spent a few seasons in the NHL. From 1974-76, Wilson played for the St. Louis Blues where he scored 3 goals and totaled 11 assists. His NHL totals include 6 goals and 26 assists for 32 points.

“We feel like we’ve got a great staff. It’s a staff that’s really connected to each other and sees the game in a similar fashion. For the future and for the present, we’re in terrific shape. We’ve got people that are teachers first and coaches second.”
-Ken Hitchcock

Quotes courtesy of St. Louis Blues website

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