The St. Louis Blues announced today that the team has extended the contract of head coach Ken Hitchcock
. Which just makes sense -- with ownership finally settled
and the reigning Jack Adams award-winner
running the team, you kind of expected this deal to get done.
Although the terms of the contract are a little surprising.
Hitchcock's now under contract through the end of the 2013-2014 season,
with an option that could be picked up for the following season. Really,
winning the Jack Adams and leading an underperforming team past the 100
point mark for the first time in a decade only garners a one-year contract?
In the modern NHL, that's as good as it gets. Teams won't tie themselves to a coach for any great length of time. This time last year, Hitchcock was out of coaching after being unceremoniously dumped by the Columbus Blue Jackets (after signing a three-year extension, mind you); this year he's the best coach in the league.
And lest we forget, three other Blues coaches have won the Jack Adams: Red Berenson (1981), Brian Sutter (1991) and Joel Quenneville (2000). Berenson was gone at the end of the 1982 season; Sutter was fired at the end of the '92 season; Quenneville held on through 2004.
What we're saying is that history indicates a Blues head coach who wins the Jack Adams award is more often than not gone at the end of the following season. Good luck, Hitch.