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St. Louis Blues name Drew Bannister full-time coach after interim role

May 7 (UPI) -- The St. Louis Blues removed the interim tag from coach Drew Bannister's title and signed him to a two-year contract extension, they announced Tuesday.

The Blues fired former head coach Craig Berube and named Bannister interim coach Dec. 12. Berube led the Blues to a 13-14-1 record through 28 games this season. They went 30-19-5 under Bannister.

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The Blues (43-33-6) failed to make the playoffs for the second-consecutive season. They were 206-132-44 in six seasons under Berube, including their 2018-19 Stanley Cup title run.

Bannister, 50, played as an NHL defenseman from 1995 through 2001. He later played for teams in Russia, Germany and Finland and in the AHL, but never returned to the NHL as a player.

Bannister was a player and assistant coach in 2010 for the Hull Stingrays of the British Elite Ice Hockey League. He served as a player and head coach for the Braehead Clan, of the same league, in 2011.

Bannister served as assistant coach for the Ontario Hockey League's (OHL) Owen Sound Attack from 2012 to 2015. He left that job in 2015 to become coach of the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

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He worked as a head coach of the San Antonio Rampage and Springfield Thunderbirds, AHL affiliates of the Blues, before his tenure as interim coach for the NHL squad.

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