Back in January, St. Louis Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong had just fired former Coach Mike Yeo and was in the process of undergoing an “international” search for his next coach. 

As it turned out, he didn’t have to look any further than his own bench. The Blues made the “interim” coach their permanent one, when they signed Craig Berube to a three-year deal last week.

The only problem with the new contract is that it’s not long enough.

Did Armstrong miss the part where the Blues had a parade down Market Street, or that big 36-pound chunk of silver that was at the Cardinals basketball game last week?

That contract should never end. Berube should, and probably is, the coach of the Blues for as long as he wants to be. Is it selfish that I think the contract should be a lifetime deal, despite what they tell the public?

It’s the perks of winning a championship-starved city, its first title. It’s the perks of bringing a team from worst to first. Frankly, it’s the perks of putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.

The terms of the contract were not immediately released either, but whatever he is now getting paid, it’s not enough either. Back the Brinks truck up and give him golden bars.

It’s worth it, because as my dad says, “it’s all about coaching.”

Let’s be honest with ourselves. If the Blues did not retain Berube, who could they have gotten that would be better? The answer to that question is a simple one: nobody. Sure, Armstrong could have found a coach that had previously won championships in Chicago, or Detroit, Pittsburgh, or even Dallas, but one thing they would all have in common would be that they didn’t win in St. Louis. 

What kind of precedent would that set for future coaches or even players that the Blues won’t retain successful coaches or players? Not a good one for sure.

Signing Berube back was necessary, no matter the cost.

The next biggest test for the Blues is up next season, as they no longer are hunting for a championship, but instead are the hunted with the target on their back. But if there’s anything this coach and core of players has taught us over the last eight months, it’s to never count them out.

Berube said his goal was to “bring more championships to St. Louis.” Hopefully he can do that, but maybe they should keep it a secret to a lot of the former players like Brett Hull. I don’t think he can handle it.

Making Berube the coach has been a done deal pretty much since the team’s 11-game win streak in February, and all that has been getting in the way has been a desire on the part of Armstrong not to throw a wrench in the works and tinker with the delicate karma of a team headed for a championship.

But it just seems like a short-term thing, especially when the players routinely sign eight-year contracts, of which they never fulfill based on trades or other scenarios.

Armstrong joked during the press conference that he should keep the “interim” tag on Berube because it worked so well last year.

Don’t joke about that Armstrong, because then he could leave and nobody wants that.”

 Justin Hotop is a sportswriter for the Republic-Monitor and a three-point specialist on the court. He can be reached via email at jhotop@perryvillenews.com.

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