<
>

Stars coaching candidate: Ken Hitchcock

5/31/2011

The latest in a series on possible candidates for the head coaching job of the Dallas Stars looks at Ken Hitchcock, who coached the Stars from 1996-2002

Currently

The 59-year-old Hitchcock just completed a stint as head coach of Team Canada at the 2011 World Championship, where his team finished 5th in the tournament.

The résumé

*533-350-158 (.588) record as a coach in the NHL with the Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets.

*66-55 record in Stanley Cup playoff games.

*Won Stanley Cup (Dallas, 1999) and went to Stanley Cup Final (Dallas, 2000).

*Led Dallas to five straight division titles.

*Led Philadelphia to three straight seasons of 100 or more points

*Led Columbus to first Stanley playoff berth in franchise history (2008-09)

*Won gold medal as associate coach with Team Canada at Olympics (2002, 2010)

Positives

His coaching résumé is impressive. He’s experienced, smart and gets the best out of his players. Can coach and win with whatever personnel he has. He’ll bring structure and accountability to any team he coaches. Although considered a defensive coach by many, his teams in Dallas and Philadelphia were top ten in scoring.

Negatives

The Stars have just been down this road with an experienced, veteran coach in Marc Crawford, so it might be time to bring a fresh face to the scene. Can be overbearing, which can lead players to tune out at times. Has a reputation of not working well with younger players.

Other suitors

The New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild both are said to be interested in Hitchcock.

Quotable

“He was a lot like Jacques [Lemaire] in wanting us to play a system game – five guys up, five guys back. He liked us to push the pace. It was a little more relaxed atmosphere and he seemed like a fun coach. He was easy to play for. He told you what he wanted from you and that was your job. Everyone did what they had to do.” – New Jersey forward Travis Zajac on playing for Hitchcock at the 2011 World Championship (The Record, May 2011)