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Blues Extend Contracts of Coaching Staff

by Staff Writer / St. Louis Blues
ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that the team has extended the contracts of assistant coaches, Ray Bennett, Rick Wamsley and Brad Shaw and video coach Scott Masters.

The team also announced that it has extended the contracts of Peoria Rivermen head coach, Dave Baseggio and assistant coach, Brent Thompson.

“We are very happy to announce that we have extended the contracts of our entire coaching staff here in St. Louis and in Peoria,” said Davidson. “It is important for us to have continuity with our coaching staff not only here with the Blues but also with the Rivermen.”

Bennett, 44, joined the St. Louis Blues coaching staff as an assistant on December 13, 2006. He served seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings under Andy Murray from 1999-2006. Prior to joining the Kings, he served as the manager of coaching/initiation programs and as an assistant for Canada’s National Women’s Olympic Team, which earned a silver medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics. He was also an assistant coach for Canada’s silver medal winning National Junior Team at the 1999 World Championships and the gold medal winning Canadian National Women’s Team at the 1999 World Championships.

Bennett was also a head coach at Red Deer College and has worked for the Spokane Chiefs, the World Junior Hockey Championship Association, Hockey Canada, the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association.

Wamsley, 47, enters his second season as the Blues assistant/goaltending coach. Prior to joining the Blues, Wamsley was with the Columbus Blue Jackets organization where he served as a goaltending coach and pro scout from 1999-2006. Prior to joining the Blue Jackets, he spent six seasons as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. While in Toronto, Wamsley served as a pro and amateur scout in 1998-99 and was an assistant coach under Pat Burns from 1996-98. He joined the organization as a goaltending consultant immediately following a 12-year playing career that ended during the 1992-93 season. During his time in Toronto, Wamsley worked with Maple Leafs goaltender Felix Potvin. During his tenure with the club, Potvin earned NHL All-Rookie honors in 1993 and appeared in a pair of All-Star Games in 1994 and 1996.

During his playing career, Wamsley posted a 204-131-46 record and a 3.34 goals against average with the Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Shaw, 43, is entering his second season as an assistant coach with the Blues. Prior to joining St. Louis, Shaw was the interim head coach for the New York Islanders during the 2005-06 season. Prior to joining the Islanders, he spent three seasons (2002-2005) as the head coach for the American Hockey League’s Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and posted a record of 44-31-4-1 in 2004-05. Before Shaw joined Cincinnati, he was the head coach with the Detroit Vipers of the former International Hockey League, an assistant with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL and an assistant with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1999-2000.

Shaw made his NHL debut in 1985-86 with the Hartford Whalers and spent 11 of the following 15 seasons as a defenseman around the league. He was sent to the Blues in a trade with Washington on March 18, 1999, where he would play in 12 games and finish his playing career. Shaw played in 377 career games with Hartford, Ottawa, Washington and St. Louis, recording 159 points (22 goals, 137 assists).

Masters, 29, will enter his second season as the video coach for the Blues. Prior to joining St. Louis, was a volunteer assistant coach for the Denver University hockey program last year. Before going to Denver, Masters served a four-year stint with the NHL's Florida Panthers.
He joined the Florida Panthers in 2001 as video coach. He produced live breakdowns and analysis of team games with real time communication to the Panthers bench. Masters reviewed and analyzed game film of individual players, team and opponents. He also scouted National, American, Junior and NCAA hockey league games while at Florida. Masters served a four-month stint as a coach for the Boston franchise in the Original Stars Hockey League this past summer. He managed Boston's 12-man roster, including four NHL all-stars, in the inaugural 4-on-4 elite eight-team league.

The Arvada, Colo., native earned his technical journalism degree from Colorado State in 2000. Masters played for CSU's club hockey team under head coach and current DU Director of Hockey Operations David Tenzer. Masters was a media relations student assistant from 1998-2000 at Colorado State and was the sports information contact for men's ice hockey at the University of Massachusetts from 2000-01.

Baseggio, 39, will enter his second season as the head coach of the Peoria Rivermen. Prior to joining the Rivermen he spent the previous five seasons with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League’s coaching staff . Prior to his stint on Bridgeport’s coaching staff, Baseggio was an assistant coach with the Charlotte Checkers of the East Coast Hockey League during the 2000-01 season.

The Niagara Falls, Ontario native, spent 10 seasons in professional hockey as a player, highlighted by AHL stints in Rochester, New Haven and Worcester. He also played in the International Hockey League for Indianapolis, Cleveland, Houston, Detroit and Grand Rapids. He played four seasons of collegiate hockey at Yale University.

Thompson, 36, will enter his third season as an assistant coach with the Rivermen. Prior to joining the Rivermen coaching staff, Thompson completed a 15-year career in professional hockey that spanned the National Hockey League, AHL, International Hockey League and Central Hockey League. He was originally selected in the second round, 39th overall, by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.

Thompson played in 121 career NHL contests as a blueliner over six consecutive seasons (1991-92 through 1996-97) while recording 11 points (one goal, 10 assists), along with 352 penalty minutes. He saw the most NHL action while with the Kings, skating in 81 games over three seasons. He then moved to the Winnipeg Jets for two years and to the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996-97.

His previous coaching experience includes serving as an assistant in 2003-04 while still a player with the Colorado Eagles of the CHL. Off the ice, the Calgary, Alberta native was recognized for his outstanding community service when he won the AHL’s Yanick Dupre Award as the AHL’s Man of the Year in 1998-99. Thompson was also named co-captain of the Providence Bruins in 2004-05.
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