The end of the regular season was relatively quiet on the coaching front. Only Alain Vigneault of the Rangers was dismissed immediately, although several other coaching moves are anticipated in the coming weeks. One coach, however, has decided to walk away on his own. The Dallas Stars announced that legendary coach, Ken Hitchcock, will step down has the bench boss for the Stars and assume a front office position. The decision follows a season in which the team went 42-32-8 and finished sixth in the Central Division.
Ken Hitchcock announces he will retire from coaching and will remain with the Stars as a consultant. I have to think Alain Vigneault will be a candidate to replace Hitchcock in Dallas.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) April 13, 2018
Hitchcock’s second stint as coach of the Stars lasted just one season after spending the previous six with the St. Louis Blues. He won the Jack Adams Award as the leagues best coach in 2011-12 in his first season in St. Louis.
However, Hitchcock’s career began with the Stars in 1995-96. He spent the first seven years of his career in Dallas where he compiled a record of 277-166-60. He helped guide the Stars to back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals appearances in 1999 and 2000, winning in ’99 against the Sabres but falling to the Devils in 2000. As coach of the Flyers, he led the team to within one game of a Finals appearance in the 2003-2004 season.
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Hitchcock has found success in every stop along the way in his presumed Hall of Fame career. This includes guiding the Columbus Blue Jackets to their first playoff appearance in franchise history following the 2008-09 season. He has accumulated over 100 points in 11 of his 21 seasons behind the bench. His final time coming with the Blues during the 2015-16 season.
He will end his career with 823 wins in 1,536 games. Good for a .603 winning percentage. His 823 wins are third all-time behind Joel Quenneville (884) and Scotty Bowman (1,244). He is ninth all-time in career playoff wins.