Multiple sources have reported that the Dallas Stars are bringing in Ken Hitchcock as their next coach. The Stars announced that they would not be bringing back Lindy Ruff, their previous head coach, on Monday after his contract expired.
Dallas Stars Bring in Ken Hitchcock as New Coach
As @TimCowlishaw first reported, Ken Hitchcock will be named head coach of the Dallas Stars.
Since Ruff was let go, the rumours of who would be invited to fill his spot have circulated. Ken Hitchcock was the number one candidate in most reports, as he fits in fairly well with the Stars system. He actually started his NHL head-coaching career with the Dallas Stars. He was hired as the team’s head coach halfway through the 1995-96 season. Prior to this, he had a few years of coaching in the IHL and was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Flyers. He coached the Stars until the 2001-02 season, where he was replaced after 50 games. He led the team to their first Stanley Cup in 1999, and the Stanley Cup Finals in 2000.
Hitchcock went back to the Flyers after being let go by Dallas. This time, however, he was on the bench as the team’s head coach. He spent just over three seasons with Philadelphia, before being replaced eight games into the 2006-07 season. That same year he started a four year stretch with the Columbus Blue Jackets, but was let go halfway through the 2009-10 season. Hitchcock was out of a job for a year, before the Blues brought him in to replace Andy Murray. He coached with the Blues until this season.
Hitchcock was let go by the St. Louis Blues on February 1st of this season. In his spot now is Mike Yeo, who is now leading the Blues to the playoffs. Hitchcock was set to retire after his season with the Blues, and Yeo was set to take his place. Since being released by St. Louis, it wasn’t sure if Hitchcock would be up for another year of coaching. Now that he’s been brought in by Dallas, he might be in for more than a year. The details of his contract haven’t been released.
Hopes for Hitchcock
Hitchcock has made the playoffs 18 out of his 21 seasons as a head coach. Two of these playoff-less seasons were during his stint with the Blue Jackets, and the other was his first year of coaching. With the Stars missing out on the playoffs this season, and clearly struggling, they’re hoping Hitchcock brings the fire that he’s brought to every other team he’s coached.
Main Photo: KANSAS CITY, MO – OCTOBER 05: Head coach Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues watches from the bench during the preseason game against Washington Capitals at Sprint Center on October 5, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)