By The Sports Xchange
Ken Hitchcock will return as the head coach of the Dallas Stars, more than 15 years after being fired by the club he guided to its lone Stanley Cup championship.
Thursday’s announcement comes on the heels of Dallas parting ways with Lindy Ruff earlier in the week after the team missed the playoffs this season.
Hitchcock, who was fired as coach of the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 1, coached Dallas for seven seasons (1996-2002), leading the Stars to the championship in 1999. The 65-year-old is the Stars’ all-time leader in victories with a 277-154-60-12 record.
General manager Jim Nill and owner Tom Gaglardi were quick to welcome Hitchcock back to the franchise.
“Ken is an exceptionally talented coach and we could not be happier to have him joining the organization,” Nill said. “He is a meticulous coach who brings with him an emphasis on structure and a defensive style of play, which will accent our level of skill nicely. Ken has an incredible hockey mind and we look forward to his guidance on the ice.”
Hitchcock has a 781-474-88 career record — his wins rank fourth in NHL history — in 20 NHL seasons with the Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Blues.
“Ken Hitchcock is an established NHL coach that everyone here in Dallas is familiar with, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him back to the organization,” Gaglardi said. “A proven winner, Hitchcock knows exactly what it takes to be successful in this League and he is the perfect fit for what this team needs. His familiarity with the city of Dallas and the Stars organization definitely added to his appeal, and I’m confident that will he will greatly help our group in a number of areas.