|Andy Murray is also believed to be a strong candidate for the Jack Adams Award, given to the NHL Coach of the Year. (Getty Images). |
The rewards are beginning to roll in for Blues Head Coach Andy Murray.
First, it was a playoff berth. Now it's the Michel Bergeron Trophy, given each year to the Coach of the Year as determined by Hall of Famer Phil Esposito on XM Satellite Radio.
When long-term injuries to Paul Kariya, Erik Johnson, Eric Brewer and Andy McDonald
presented the Blues with a monumental challenge, Murray kept the team focused enough to reach the postseason for the first time since 2004.
"I simply love the way Andy worked that room and got everything out of his players that they could give," said Esposito, a star for the Blackhawks, Bruins and Rangers over the course of 18 NHL seasons. "Injuries dedimated that club and they marched on. It's a testament to the leadership and work ethic of Andy Murray."
Under Murray's leadership, the Blues finished the regular season with a 41-31-10 record. In a span of two months, the team went from 15th in the competitive Western Conference to sixth.
Speculation is growing that Murray will be a top candidate for the Jack Adams Award, given annually to the NHL Coach of the Year as determined by the National Hockey League Broadcasters Association. Red Berenson, Brian Sutter and Joel Quenneville have each won the award while coaching the Blues.