'Pretty impressive': Alta. town of 85 people celebrates Stanley Cup-winning coach
Published Thursday, June 13, 2019 9:30PM EDT
St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube carries the Stanley Cup after the Blues defeated the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
As the St. Louis Blues celebrated their first Stanley Cup win in franchise history, a tiny Alberta town also had reason to cheer.
Calahoo, Alta., a small community 50 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, has just 85 people and one arena, but is the proud home of Blues’ interim head coach Craig Berube.
Berube took over coaching duties on Nov. 19 and eventually led the Blues from last place in January to a Stanley Cup championship on Wednesday when they beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 7.
"(It’s) pretty impressive going from zero to hero,” Berube’s second cousin Matthew told CTV Edmonton. “That was awesome.”
Known primarily as a fighter throughout his playing career, Berube notched 3,149 penalty minutes over 1,054 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals and New York Islanders.
"We're very blessed and fortunate to have somebody from our community do so well," said Berube’s uncle Emile.
Calahoo residents call Berube “very down to earth” and a “regular country boy,” who makes a point to visit his hometown each offseason.
"We're hoping he brings that cup home this summer," Emile said.
Regardless of Berube’s plans with the championship trophy, the Stanley Cup will have plenty of stops in the Prairies this summer as a combined seven players hail from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Matthew hopes his cousin’s successes can be inspiration for the children with dreams of going from small-town Alberta to the big leagues.
"Maybe it helps the kids,” he said. “As long as you work hard maybe you can get there one day like he did.”