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Blues, Hitchcock agree to contract extension @NHL

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Blues and coach Ken Hitchcock, who led the team to its first playoff series win in a decade last season, have agreed to a one-year contract extension through the 2013-14 season with a mutual option for 2014-15.

The 60-year-old Hitchcock won the Jack Adams Award after producing the franchise's first 100-point season since 2001 and its first postseason series win since 2002. The Blues tied for second overall in the NHL in the regular season and beat San Jose in the playoffs before getting swept by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.

The playoff berth was just the second in seven seasons for St. Louis, which also won its first postseason games since 2004.

"I feel like we are putting together a quality program," Hitchcock said. "We had a good year finishing where we did in the standings, but this club is not satisfied with our ending and firmly believes we have great things to come."

The Blues were 7-1-2 in the first 10 games under Hitchcock, who replaced Davis Payne in early November. Hitchcock is 11th on the NHL career list with 576 victories and 70 playoff wins.

"Ken came in and immediately steadied our group and was able to get each one of our players to elevate their game," general manager Doug Armstrong said. "He still has the passion and drive to be a head coach in this league and is committed to taking this team to the next level."

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