The Stars have hired Ken Hitchcock
The Dallas Stars have hired former St Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. After announcing he would retire at the conclusion of the current NHL season earlier this year, St Louis hired Mike Yeo to eventually replace him when he’d leave. That time came sooner than expected when the Blues were in a bit of a rough spot around halfway through the season, leading to Hitchcock’s firing.
Immediately following the end of the regular season for the Dallas Stars, coach Lindy Ruff was relieved of his duties. The 57-year-old coached the Stars for four full seasons, reaching the playoffs twice. The huge problem was the fact that the Stars went from winning their division during the 2015-16 season, to placing sixth in the Central division this season without any sort of drastic roster changes. Not to say Ruff was the direct problem for the team as a whole, but management clearly felt as if he was not the coach to lead this team to a Stanley Cup, and perhaps Hitchcock could be.
65-year-old Hitchcock had a record of 24-21-5 before being fired by the St Louis Blues 50 games into the current season. Following the firing of Hitchcock with Mike Yeo manning the bench, the Blues finished the regular season with a 22-8-2 record in their final 32 games, enough to finish with 99 points and reach third place in the central division.
Former Florida Panthers coach Gerard Gallant was in the mix for the Dallas coaching position according to Bob McKenzie, and with the spot being taken by Hitchcock, Gallant is now the frontrunner for the Vegas Golden Knights first ever head coach.
Gallant was fired 22 games into the current season by Florida after posting an 11-10-1 record. He was the Panthers coach for two full years prior, having made the playoffs and won the Atlantic division during the 2015-16 season.
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