Hockey Hall of Fame member Bob Gainey has joined the St. Louis Blues as a consultant, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.
Gainey has a long relationship with Blues general manager Doug Armstrong and coach Ken Hitchcock. Armstrong worked with Gainey with the Minnesota North Stars and Dallas Stars, and Gainey picked Hitchcock to be his replacement as coach of the Dallas Stars during the 1995-96 season so Gainey could focus on his GM job with the Stars.
According to the newspaper, Gainey will work with the Blues and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Chicago Wolves.
"Doug and I mentioned that if he wanted to have a little bit of stake in the game, would he be interested in helping the coaches out," Hitchcock told the Post-Dispatch. "He took some time to think about it, then he came back and said, 'Sure.' We're awful grateful that he's able to do it, but he wants to do it on a low-key basis and he wants to do it big-picture.
"He's not going to be around daily and he's going to do it sometime from distance. Him and I work well that way. He was such a good fresh set of eyes [in Dallas]. He would see roles for guys having an impact on us winning hockey games that were maybe little bit different than we were thinking and gave us pause for thought, which was very, very helpful."
Gainey was a star for 16 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. He was a five-time Stanley Cup champion, won the Selke Trophy four times and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992. He spent parts of six seasons as coach of the North Stars/Stars, and was GM of the Stars and Montreal Canadiens. He had been a senior adviser for the Stars the past two seasons.
The Blues believe that experience makes him a perfect fit in St. Louis.
"He's a very unique guy because he's had the experience of being a player at a high level, being a leader at a high level and then both being a coach and a manager," Hitchcock said.