Former Tucson coach to take place of Darryl Sydor,
who stepped down, citing spending more time with family
ST. LOUIS -- The Blues have added a familiar face to their coaching staff and saying goodbye to another heading into the 2018-19 season.
Well, sort of a familiar face.
The Blues announced the hiring of former defenseman Mike Van Ryn as an assistant coach, replacing Darryl Sydor, who is stepping down to spend more time with his family.
|Mike Van Ryn|
The 39-year-old Van Ryn spent last season as coach of the Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League, leading them to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs after winning the Pacific Division with a 42-20-6 record.
Van Ryn spent his first three seasons in the NHL with the Blues from 2000-03 after being drafted in the first round of the 1998 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils, playing in 69 games before moving on to play four seasons with the Florida Panthers and current Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester before finishing his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2008-09.
"We are very excited to have Mike joining our staff," Blues coach Mike Yeo said in a statement. "I spoke with a number of people about the position, but it was clear that Mike's energy and philosophies were the best fit for our team."
Prior to serving as coach of the Roadrunners, Van Ryn was the Arizona Coyotes' developmental coach in 2016. He also spent three seasons with the Ontario Hockey League's Kitchener Rangers, including 2015-16 when he guided the Rangers to a 44-17-7 record as their coach.
Van Ryn also spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the AHL's Houston Aeros after beginning his coaching career as an assistant with the OHL's Niagara IceDogs in 2010-11.
Sydor spent last season with the Blues after serving as an assistant under Craig Berube with the AHL's Chicago Wolves for one season (2016-17); he had been an assistant with the Minnesota Wild from 2011-16 under Yeo and John Torchetti.
"After almost 30 years in professional hockey, I am confident that now is the right time to step away from the game," Sydor said in a statement. "Hockey has given me more than I could have ever dreamed for, but my family is the most important thing in my life, and I want to focus all of my attention on them."