In case you weren’t aware, coaching in the NHL isn’t always as glamorous as it appears to be.
You want to test your patience, trying being an NHL coach.
After playing over 1,400 career games Scott Mellanby has dabbled in broadcasting, scouting, and coaching. He’ll be the first to tell you nothing compares to being a player. Following a two-year stint behind the St. Louis Blues bench, Mellanby informed GM Doug Armstrong this morning of his intention to move in a different direction.
It’s not that Mellanby didn’t like coaching, he just didn’t love it. Coaching is no different than any other job, if you don’t feel an emotional connection to going to work then it becomes harder and more taxing by the day.
For some guys it’s a perfect fit, Carolina Head Coach Kirk Muller seems to have a passion for coaching in the NHL.
Again to each their own.
Don’t confuse Mellanby’s lack of coaching interest for a lack of passion for the game of hockey. He was a scout for the Vancouver Canucks prior to joining the Blues coaching staff and I expect him to land with another NHL organization in the not too distant future. He has more passion for the hockey operations side of the business and that’s the direction he wants to take his post-playing career.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see Montreal GM Marc Bergevin explore the idea of adding a Scott Mellanby. He’d be a perfect fit for what Bergevin is trying to establish with the Canadiens .
People like Scott Mellanby don’t necessarily grow on tress. He’s a very intelligent hockey man who brings a ton of leadership, credibility and experience to the table. He thinks and forms opinions on his own and is confident in his ability to evaluate hockey players.
It comes down to a way of life. Coaching is a seven day a week job and once you step on the train there’s no getting off for at least nine months. Scouting is different in the sense that once you’re home you’re home. The on/off switch doesn’t really apply in coaching.
After a long, successful playing career Mellanby would like the flexibility of spending time with his family which includes a daughter heading to the University of Wisconsin in the fall. He also has a son playing AAA hockey and the opportunity to see him play is something he’ll look forward to.
There’s no doubt the Blues will look to replace Mellanby with a coach with a similar resume. There’s something to be said for a coach recently removed from the game who understands and relates with the players.
You can be sure there are hundreds of coaches out there preparing to send their resume to Doug Armstrong.
Mellanby was more than just an assistant coach and the organization will look to fill this void.
Darryl Sydor would be a decent fit. He has a relationship with both Hitchcock and Armstrong but he’s also under contract with the Minnesota Wild. Obviously some compensation would come into play should the Blues even consider going down this road.
We’ve seen former players such as Doug Weight, Dan Hinote, and Dave Lowry among others find their way onto NHL benches shortly after retiring. Billy Guerin and Tim Taylor are former players doing lots of work behind the scenes with both coaches and prospects.
The Blues as a staff continue to be in review mode but will soon shift their attention towards next season. Some of this delay has to do with the recent Ownership transition. Will the news of Mellanby stepping down accelerate the process? We could see a domino effect take place as the hockey side will begin focusing on a number of issues they need to get to.
As for Mellanby, he wants to spend more time with his family and I think we can all understand that. He sincerely appreciates the opportunity Armstrong gave him.
Blues players escape surgery…
There were several players who maybe needed surgery to repair some bumps and bruises but it appears rehab should do the trick in getting back to 100%. Roman Polak injured his shoulder in Game 4 against Los Angeles, T.J Oshie dealt with a nagging wrist injury most of the season, Ryan Reaves also played most of the season with a shoulder injury, and Andy McDonald maybe needed to have his ankle cleaned up just to name a few. This will be a surgery-free summer for the Blues.
Calgary interested in John Davidson?
According to sources there’s talk in Canada of the Calgary Flames interested in hiring Blues President John Davidson. The Flames are in a similar situation, albeit not as bad, that the Blues were in when Davidson joined the organization in 2006. Would they turn to JD to assist in building the Flames back up?
One of Davidson’s biggest strengths is reestablishing credibility with the fans and the media. This is an area he excels in and with the Blues coming off of a 109 point season it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise if an organization comes knocking on his door.
Davidson has deep roots in the Calgary area going back to his junior hockey days not to mention he broadcasted Flames games prior to his legendary career in New York. He and his wife have family living in the Calgary area and for year's have hosted an August charity golf tournament in the city.
There’s talk of current Flames President Ken King staying on board to oversee the business side of the organization.
Davidson is finishing the first season of a multi-year contract with the Blues who are transitioning under Tom Stillman who purchased the team earlier this month.
More to come,