ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues will turn back to a familiar face and voice.
The way general manager Doug Armstrong spoke Tuesday to announce that the Blues signed Ken Hitchcock to a one-year contract, there never seemed to be a doubt whether the 63-year-old would return to coach St. Louis for a fifth season.
Hitchcock's contract was set to expire June 30. He and Armstrong took time after the season to reflect on certain issues, but each is comfortable with the other and seems fine with a one-year extension.
"I just had to make sure that the passion level that's going to be necessary in November, December, January, February ... the dog days of the season, that Ken still had that passion," Armstrong said. "I didn't want him to come back and feel that he was coming back out of anger and disappointment. I wanted him to come back out of excitement and energy. When we talked, I felt that. I felt that talking to him and I felt that talking to members of his staff that there's a real excitement in getting back to work here."