Thursday's Dump & Chase: Yeo what's up?

Central division rivals decided to part ways yesterday with Ken Hitchcock, the 4th winningest coach of all-time, and replace him with interim coach Mike Yeo, who was set to take over at season's end anyways.

Well, that was odd.

After a loss to the Winnipeg Jets and Patrick "The Finnish Finisher" Laine, the St. Louis Blues relieved head coach Ken Hitchcock of coaching duties (read: fired) and promoted interim coach Mike Yeo to head coach. The move is odd for a number of reasons. Did Hitchcock really have anything to do with the team's regression? Last season he took one of the best teams in the history of the St. Louis Blues into the Western Conference Finals, finally beating the Chicago Blackhawks in the process. Their General Manager Doug Armstrong then proceeded to not resign the heart and soul of the team in David Backes and dumped the underappreciated Brian Elliot off to Calgary. On paper, their team this year does not stack up with their team of last year.

Furthermore, Ken Hitchcock was one win away from tying Al Arbor as the 3rd winningest coach of all time. One. Win. Away. I understand that hockey is a business, but yikes, that doesn't seem like the right way to kick a coach who assembled a 413-248-124 record and .650 winning percentage while with the Blues. Oh, he also finished either first or second in every season he finished with the Blues.

While this is all doom and gloom for Ken Hitchcock, Predator fans rejoice! The mediocre Mike Yeo is now once more the head coach of a Central Division team! Huzzah!

Finally, the Blues also dismissed their goaltending coach Jim Corsi. Puns were just waiting to be made...

#FANCYSTATS or #MOULSONSTATS? Which route will they go?

Nashville Predators News #DUCHENEWATCH

Preds Practice Ponderings: February 1 |

Nashville Predators would be a good fit for Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene - ESPN
I mean, what's the price? I'm not keen on trading any defenders considering how hard it's been for them to develop chemistry for the better part of this season.

McKenzie Sees 'Fairly Aggressive' Poile Toward Trade Deadline - Fanrag
Also, in regards to Duchene, do we really want to trade valuable assets to another team in our division? I'm just not sure if this is the right target. I'm not sure if there is a target. However, I'm very, very wary of trading within the division.

Predators lead NHL in most players used this season - The Tennesean
And this is the best argument for staying pat. The Predators have used an NHL-high 37 players this season. Despite that number, they're third in the division. Maybe things will just end up fine letting the guys time to mesh now that the team is healing.

Around Hockey

Ladies and gentlemen, the man, the legend, Mr. "Humongous Big" Universe himself, we present Ilya Bryzgalov.

Golden Knights could be involved in some deadline deals - TSN
That's still their name? Well done Nevada patent attorneys.

Five rookies who aren’t getting enough attention this season | The Hockey News
Zach Werenski could go down as the best rookie not to be nominated for the Calder. What he's doing with Seth in Columbus is unreal.

Marner makes Leafs 1st club to boast 3 rookies of the month in a season |
The trio is Mitch Marner, Auston "Not as cool as Patrick Laine" Matthews, and William Nylander. The Leafs are going to be unbelievably good in a few years if they acquire a decent goaltender. Otherwise they'll be the Dallas Stars.

Theft of Gordie Howe-signed jersey hurts Canadian town's rink - USA Hockey
Scumbag(s). The jersey stolen was to be raffled off to support the rink and the children who play there. They may not be able to play next season as a result.

Nathan MacKinnon on why life ‘sucks’ for the Avalanche - Yahoo! Sports
Am I a terrible person for laughing at the headline? Yes? Maybe?

30 Thoughts: Lightning's Yzerman not biting on low offers for Bishop -
Well other than the Oilers, is there really a contender in need of a goaltender? Maybe St. Louis? I guess Ottawa, but that would be *too* funny if he gets traded back there.