Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Stars Hire Ken Hitchcock for Second Go-Round

Who says you can't go home again? Randy Carlyle is back in Anaheim and Claude Julien is back in Montreal. Why not Ken Hitchcock in Dallas? The Stars made it official today, announcing that they have brought Ken Hitchcock back to the place where his NHL coaching career began in 1996.

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Fired as coach of the St. Louis Blues on February 1st, 65-year-old Hitchcock had talked of getting away from coaching and getting off the grid during his final season with the Blues. Maybe it was just a change of scenery that he craved.

In addition to his Stanley Cup with the Stars in 1999, Hitchcock spent time coaching the Flyers (2002-2006), Blue Jackets (2006-2010) and the Blues (2011-2017).

Everywhere he has gone he has had success.

Hitchcock is fourth on the NHL's all-time coaching wins list with 781, just one win behind Al Arbour.

The Edmonton native will be Dallas' seventh head coach since the team moved to Dallas from Minnesota in 1993.

Hitchcock has made significant defensive improvements to every team he has coached, but he seemed to have lost the pulse of the Blues this season, after entering the season as a lame-duck coach that had already expressed plans to end his tenure in St. Louis.

Dallas, meanwhile, comes off a tremendously disappointing season that saw them go 34-37-11 with a minus-39 goal differential. This comes after a 2015-16 season that saw Dallas go 50-23-9 and win its first playoff series in eight years. The Stars have missed the playoffs in seven of the last nine years.