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Scenes from Blues Stanley Victory Parade

Head coach Craig Berube holds up the Stanley Cup during the Blues Stanley Cup victory rally on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at the Arch grounds in St. Louis. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

The Blues have signed Craig Berube to a three-year contract, officially removing the interim tag from the coach who led the team to its first Stanley Cup championship after taking over for Mike Yeo on Nov. 19.

Contract terms weren't immediately available.

That Berube would stay became all but official at the start of the Western Conference Final against San Jose when general manager Doug Armstrong told reporters that he had a "candidate list of one" and that the one candidate was Berube.

Under Berube, the Blues became champions of the team game, accepting their roles and playing for each other. And then became champions of the NHL.

"Craig made an enormous impact on our team when he took over last November," Armstrong said in a statement. "He restored our identity and provided our players with a clear sense of direction and purpose.

"The chemistry and trust that he developed with our players was integral in bringing our franchise the 2019 Stanley Cup."

Players liked Berube's direct approach, even it meant sometimes hearing criticism of their play. And reflecting his personality, they became a hard-working, mentally tough, relentless team.

As the season progressed, it became obvious that Berube was pretty good with the Xs and Os as well, both when it came to lineup changes, line changes and in-game adjustments.

"This is a proud day for me and my family," Berube said in a statement. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for this team and this organization, and the city of St. Louis has embraced me as one of their own.

"This past season was the experience of a lifetime and I'm anxious to get started on our title defense."

After taking over for Yeo following a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 19, the Blues finished 38-19-6 over the remainder of the regular season, going from the worst record in the NHL on the morning of Jan. 3 to a playoff spot.

That made Berube a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, which goes to the coach of the year. He finished third in the voting.

In the playoffs, the Blues won series with Winnipeg, Dallas, San Jose, and then Boston to claim the Stanley Cup.

Jim Thomas covers Blues hockey for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.