Ken Hitchcock is returning to St. Louis for his sixth season as coach of the Blues and signed a one-year contract extension on Tuesday.
The Blues were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs in the sixth game of the best-of-seven Western Conference finals by the San Jose Sharks.
Hitchcock, 64, is entering his 20th season as an NHL head coach. He has been head coach of the Blues since Nov. 7, 2011 with four of the top five regular-season point totals in franchise history and five consecutive births in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Blues captain David Backes summed up Hitchcock's standing with the team at the end of the postseason.
"There's certainly times when he gets under your skin and he's not your best friend. But I don't know if you want a coach that's your best friend," Hitchcock said. "You want someone that's pushing you and always wanting to make you better and make the team better. He fits all those qualities in a coach. Five years together now, I think he's done one heck of a job."
Last season, Hitchcock led the Blues to a 49-24-9 record and 107 points -- the fourth highest regular-season point total in team history. In the 2016 postseason, the Blues defeated the 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks and the Western Conference's top regular-season team, the Dallas Stars, en route to their first appearance in the conference finals in 15 years.
Before this season, Hitchcock's success in St. Louis did not carry over into the postseason. He's now 20-27 in the playoffs with the Blues.
Hitchcock has finished first or second in the Central Division in each of his five seasons in St. Louis, including division titles in both 2014-15 and 2011-12.
Hitchcock has coached 363 regular season games behind the Blues bench, accumulating a 224-103-36 record. His .667 career winning percentage is the best in franchise history.