COLUMBUS, OHIO - Columbus Blue Jackets Head Coach Ken Hitchcock became the 13th coach in National Hockey League history to record 500 wins with a 4-3 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre tonight.
Hitchcock, 57, is now tied for 12th on the all-time wins list with Hall of Famer Toe Blake. Coaches in the exclusive 500 wins club in order of wins include the following (* indicates active coach):
|Rank || |
|Wins-Record ||Stanley Cups |
|1 ||Scotty Bowman ||1,244-574-323 ||9 |
|2 ||Al Arbour ||782-577-248 ||4 |
|3 ||Dick Irvin ||692-527-230 ||4 |
|4 ||Mike Keenan* ||660-539-163 ||1 |
|5 ||Pat Quinn ||657-481-180 ||0 |
|6 ||Bryan Murray ||620-465-154 ||0 |
|7 ||Billy Reay ||542-385-175 ||0 |
|8 ||Ron Wilson* ||539-452-158 ||0 |
|9 ||Jacques Lemaire* ||528-405-172 ||1 |
|10 ||Jacques Martin ||517-406-175 ||0 |
|11 ||Pat Burns ||501-353-165 ||1 |
|Ken Hitchcock* ||500-337-122 ||1 |
|12 ||"Toe" Blake ||500-255-159 ||8 |
An Edmonton, Alberta native, Hitchcock is in his third season with Columbus and 13th in the NHL and has posted a 500-337-122 record in 959 career games with the Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars and Philadelphia Flyers. He became the 20th coach in NHL history to coach in 900 or more games on Apr. 5, 2008 at St. Louis. Below is a list of his previous milestone wins as a head coach:
|Win No. || |
|Date ||Opponent (Score) |
|1 ||Dallas Stars ||Jan. 22, 1996 || at Vancouver (6-4) |
|100 ||Dallas Stars ||Feb. 25, 1998 || at N.Y. Islanders (4-1) |
|200 ||Dallas Stars ||Mar. 12, 2000 || vs. St. Louis (4-2) |
|300 ||Philadelphia Flyers ||Jan. 11, 2003 || vs. Detroit (3-2) |
|400 ||Philadelphia Flyers || Mar. 21, 2006 || vs. New Jersey (2-1) |
Hitchcock has led his teams to six division titles and a pair of second place finishes while recording at least 40 wins and 100 points in nine of those campaigns. He has also led his teams to a 66-51 record in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including a 16-7 mark in 1998-99 when he guided the Stars to the Stanley Cup.
Hitchcock began his professional coaching career as an assistant coach with the Flyers from 1990-93 before spending two-plus seasons as the head coach of the Kalamazoo Wings/Michigan K-Wings, Dallas’ International Hockey League affiliate. He took over as head coach of the Stars midway through the 1995-96 season and in 1996-97 led them to the Central Division title. That year, Dallas became just the ninth team in NHL history to go from last place to first place in one season. The club’s 38-point improvement from 66 to 104 was tied for the fifth-best in league history.
Hitchcock spent parts of five seasons in Dallas, compiling a 277-166-60 regular season record and 47-33 playoff mark. He led his teams to five Central Division titles, two President’s Trophies (1997-98, 1998-99) and two Western Conference championships (1999, 2000) in addition to the 1999 Stanley Cup. He holds Stars franchise records for wins (277), playoff wins (47), playoff winning percentage (.588) and in 1998-99 led the club to franchise single season records for wins, points and highest winning percentage with a 51-19-12 mark and 114 points (.695). He was nominated for the Jack Adams Award three times (1997, 1998, 1999) and served as the Western Conference’s head coach in three All-Star Games (1997, 1998, 1999).
On May 14, 2002, he was named Flyers head coach and led the club to a 131-83-40 record and a 19-18 mark in the playoffs. Philadelphia posted three-straight 100-point seasons from 2002-06, captured the Atlantic Division title in 2003-04 and advanced to the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals. On Mar. 21, 2006, Hitchcock guided the Flyers to a 2-1 win over New Jersey, becoming the fifth-fastest coach in NHL history to record 400 wins (736 games). He also served as an assistant coach for the Eastern Conference in the 2003 and 2004 All-Star Games.
Hitchcock has also represented Canada at numerous international competitions. He was named head coach of Team Canada for the 2008 World Championships and led the squad to the silver medal. He also served as an associate coach for Team Canada at the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Games, winning the gold medal at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. He helped Team Canada win the World Cup of Hockey Tournament in 2004 as an associate coach and was an assistant on gold medal-winning squads at the 2002 World Championships and the 1987 World Junior Championships.
Prior to joining the professional ranks, Hitchcock was one of the winningest coaches in the history of the Western Hockey League. From 1984-90, he led the Kamloops Blazers to a 291-125-15 record with his .693 winning percentage ranking second in WHL history. He was the league’s Coach of the Year in 1986-87 and 1989-90 and was also named the Canadian Major Junior Coach of the Year in 1989-90 after leading Kamloops to the WHL championship and a third place finish in the Memorial Cup Tournament.
The Blue Jackets return to action Saturday when they host the Anaheim Ducks. Face-off at Nationwide Arena is set for 7 p.m. ET. Live coverage on FOX Sports Ohio HD will begin with the Blue Jackets Live pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m. The game will also broadcast live on the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS-AM, Sports Radio 1460 The Fan and WWCD-FM, CD101 beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets for 2008-09 regular season home games are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, FOX Sports Ohio Blue Line at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing, The Chiller Ice Rinks and all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers. Fans can purchase tickets by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.BlueJackets.com and www.ticketmaster.com. For information on season tickets, mini-plans or group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or 800-NHL-COLS.
- CBJ -