As noted earlier, the Blues want to win this year. That is the primary reason GM Doug Armstrong opted to fire head coach Davis Payne and hire Ken Hitchcock, who won a Stanley Cup with the Stars.
Armstrong and Hitchcock developed a good working relationship while both were in in Dallas. There is a nice comfort level for both.
Once of Hitchcock's biggest challenges will be to get better goaltending from Jaroslav Halak, who has been a bust to this point of his Blues career.
Hockey News columnist Ken Campbell had this take: “On paper, the Blues have a team that should not miss the playoffs, even in the ultra competitive Western Conference. But the team Hitchcock left shouldn’t be the bottom feeder in that conference either. That’s the funny thing that seems to happen when you don’t get very good goaltending from the guy you’re relying upon most to stop pucks for you. Both Steve Mason in Columbus and Jaroslav Halak in St. Louis have been dreadful this season and they both have to take their share of the culpability for their teams’ early season woes. Now the question is, why would a team that seems to be screaming for a coaching change allow Hitchcock to go to a division rival for nothing more than the ability to get off the hook for the rest of his contract, particularly one that needs a coach such as Hitchcock more than ever at the moment?”
Here is what some other hockey media types had to write about this move.