Former NHL player and head coach, Kirk Muller, is joining the Blues’ coaching staff, the team announced on Tuesday morning.
Muller, 48, will be replacing Gary Agnew as an assistant coach under Ken Hitchcock. The team announced six days ago that Agnew, along with goaltending coach Corey Hirsch, would not be returning to the Blues’ bench next season. Muller was the guy the team wanted to fill the void left by Agnew.
“We are excited to add Kirk to our staff,” said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong in a statement. “He was a Stanley Cup-winning player, and as a coach, has shown excellent communication skills and the ability to relate to both young and veteran players.”
Muller was recently released by the Carolina Hurricanes, after spending three seasons as the club’s head coach. During his tenure in Carolina, Muller posted an 80-80-27 record, but the Hurricanes missed the playoffs in all three seasons under the former coach. The gig in Carolina was Muller’s first as an NHL head coach, and he was released by the Hurricanes on May 5.
Muller also coached the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League prior to his first NHL coaching job, which was with the Montreal Canadiens as an assistant coach, a role in which Muller filled for five seasons before joining the Hurricanes.
The Blues’ new assistant coach has ample experience on the ice, as he spent 19 seasons playing in the NHL, three of which were under Hitchcock. The Ontario native was a two-time captain, six-time All-Star, and a Stanley Cup champion during his 1,349-game career.
Muller is expected to fulfill most of Agnew’s duties, which included coaching the special teams, more specifically, the power play.
The Blues went 2-for-29 on the power play in the playoffs this year under Agnew, which was a significant factor in their early exit. Muller has previous experience coaching special-team play from his stints in Montreal and Carolina.
With Muller hired, the Blues will now turn their attention to hiring a goaltending coach to replace Hirsch. A list of candidates is not known, but may include former Buffalo goalie coach Jim Corsi and famed Nashville goaltending coach Mitch Korn.
The Blues will not be commenting on the search until it concludes.