Three St. Louis Blues are nominated for awards. David Backes is up for the Selke Trophy, Doug Armstrong for GM of the year, and Ken Hitchcock for the Jack Adams award. While each Blues candidate has an argument for winning the award in their category, no one deserves one more than what Hitchcock has done for the Blues. Backes was a machine for the Blues collecting 54 points and a +15 while playing in all 82 games for the Blues. Armstrong on the other hand was brilliant in keeping the teams core together throughout the season and building the team into the Central Division champs.
However, before Hitchcock, Backes was struggling and Armstrong’s young Blues team had a less than average record of 6-7. Hitchcock came into the Blues organization and despite the many injuries, he was able to lead the Blues to a 43-15-11 record which was best for third in the league. He issued a different type of playing style in which the Blues saw players like Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk shine and come out as big contributors to the team. I feel that many Blues fans would agree that Hitchcock played the most important role for turning the team into contenders. Hitchcock is extended through the 2012-2013 season and hopefully his system will continue its success and lead the Blues to another great year. I am by no way trying to take anything away from Backes and Armstrong, but I feel that without Hitchcock’s success with the team, those other two wouldn’t have been nominated. Don’t forget that Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot have already won hardware by winning the William M. Jennings award as the goaltending duo to have the fewest goals scored.