Well, Ken Hitchcock’s retirement didn’t last long. 221 days to be precise as it was announced today that he will return to the bench and take over for Todd McClellan who was let go earlier on Tuesday by the Oilers. In four seasons in Edmonton, McClellan went 123-119-24 with one playoff appearance in that time.
After a six-year stint in St. Louis, Hitchcock returned for one final season in Dallas. A place where he spent the first seven seasons of his head coaching career. However, he announced at the end of the season he was planning to step aside and retire after one year. The Stars went 42-32-9 in his lone season back.
With the Oilers off to another lackluster start, 9-10-1 through the first 20, a move was all but certain at the coaching position. Perhaps, down the line, a front office move will be made as well as general manager Petr Chiarelli’s fingerprints are all over the Oilers struggles in recent years. However, the Oilers hope that Edmonton-native Hitchcock will help stabilize the franchise that features one of the best players, if not the best, in the league in Connor McDavid.
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For McClellan, he joins a growing list of coaching casualties this season already. In addition to McClellan getting the pink slip on Tuesday, Blues bench boss Mike Yeo also was shown the door. Earlier in the year, perhaps the most surprising move came when the Blackhawks decided to move on from three-time Stanley Cup Champion, Joel Quenneville.