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Berube will finish out season as coach; he'll also be in the mix when Blues make permanent decision

Berube will finish out season as coach; he'll also be in the mix when Blues make permanent decision

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A new Blues hockey coach won't be joining the team this season.

General manager Doug Armstrong said Thursday that interim coach Craig Berube will remain coach of the Blues through the remainder of this season. He also said Berube remains a candidate to have the "interim" tag removed from his job title at the end of the season.

"We're tied in with Craig now for the rest of the year, and we're looking forward to working with him and maximizing the most we can out of this group," Armstrong told the Post-Dispatch.

"I really enjoy working with Craig and his staff. I don't want to say they're understaffed right now, but they're one (coach) less than they were and they're putting in the long hours."

The Blues are 15-13-2 overall since Berube replaced Mike Yeo on Nov. 19, and 12-8-1 since a 6-1 home loss to Vancouver on Dec. 9. Although the Blues remain three points out of playoff position in the Western Conference entering the All-Star break and bye period, analytics and the eye test both say the team is playing better lately.

Overall, the Blues are 22-22-5 following Wednesday's 5-1 victory in Anaheim with 33 games remaining in the regular season.

As for being one man short on the coaching staff, the Blues never added an assistant after Yeo was fired and Berube moved up from associate coach. Larry Robinson helped the coaching staff from the time of Yeo's dismissal until Christmas but has since returned to his senior consultant duties for the team.

"I enjoy listening to them talk and debate our performance and our game plan," Armstrong said of Berube and his staff. "(Berube's) direct. He doesn't waste words, but you know where he stands.

"At least with me, it's not like he's reserved and quiet where you're prodding for information or prodding to find out what he's thinking. He just does it with fewer words than most."

When asked if Berube was still in the mix to remain as Blues coach next season, Armstrong replied in the affirmative but said the evaluation process is ongoing.

"Yeah," Armstrong said. "I think in pro sports at any level, whether you're a coach or a trainer or a (general) manager, every day's an evaluation by somebody. And we're all going through it together."

Armstrong declined to comment further on the coach search.

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