Blues name Drew Bannister interim head coach

St. Louis Blues (Wikimedia Commons)

According to nhl.com on Tuesday, the St. Louis Blues have named Drew Bannister of Belleville, Ontario as their new head coach. This is the first National Hockey League head coaching job for Bannister. He takes over from Craig Berube of Calahoo, Alberta.

Bannister joins the Blues with no coaching experience at the NHL level. He was previously the head coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League from 2015 to 2018, the head coach of the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League from 2018 to 2020, and the head coach of the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL since 2021. Bannister was also an assistant coach of the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL from 2012 to 2015, and an associated head coach of the Utica Comets of the AHL in 2020-21.

As a NHL player, Bannister played six seasons in the National Hockey League as a defenseman. He was with the Tampa Bay Lightning (1995 to 1997, and 1998 to 1999), the Edmonton Oilers (1997 to 1998), Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1998, 2001), and the New York Rangers (2000). In 164 games, Bannister had five goals and 25 assists for 30 points. He was a -38 with 161 penalty minutes, 10 power-play points, and 152 shots on goal.

The Blues had lost four in a row at the time of Berube’s firing. St. Louis is sixth in the Central Division, and one point back of the Arizona Coyotes for a playoff spot.

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