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Blues sign head coach Drew Bannister to two-year contract extension, remove interim tag

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The St. Louis Blues have signed head coach Drew Bannister to a two-year contract extension, according to an announcement from the team. Bannister had been named the interim head coach on Dec. 12, 2023, after the Blues fired head coach Craig Berube.

Bannister becomes the 27th head coach in team history.

Bannister led the team to a 30-19-5 record (65 points) during the remainder of the 2023-24 regular season. That marked the 12th-best points percentage across the NHL during that stretch.

The Blues ended up having an 11-point jump from the 2022-23 season as they tallied a 43-33-6 record (92 points), and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs by just six points. It marked the 15th winning campaign for the Blues in the last 16 years.

Bannister, 50, has been a member of the Blues organization for the past six seasons. He served as the head coach for the team’s AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds, for three seasons. He led the Thunderbirds to a 93-58-19 regular-season record during that time, and the Thunderbirds qualified for the playoffs in consecutive seasons. Bannister led Springfield to a Calder Cup Final appearance in 2021-22.

Bannister also served as the head coach of the San Antonio Rampage (2018-20), who were previously the Blues’ AHL affiliate. He also was an associate coach with the Utica Comets during the 2020-21 season.

The Blues head coach also was a player before his coaching career got underway. Bannister was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the No. 26 pick in the 1992 NHL Draft, and played six NHL seasons. He suited up for the Lightning, Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, and New York Rangers in 164 regular-season contests before wrapping up his career in Europe.

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