Skip to Main Content

Ken Hitchcock career timeline

Third-winningest coach in NHL history returns with Oilers @NHLdotcom

A timeline of the NHL coaching career of Ken Hitchcock, who replaced Todd McLellan with the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday:


Jan. 8, 1996: The Dallas Stars name Hitchcock, the coach of their International Hockey League affiliate in Kalamazoo, as coach. He replaces Bob Gainey, who remains as general manager. It's Hitchcock's first job as an NHL coach after three seasons as an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers and two-plus seasons with Kalamazoo. The Stars go 15-23-5 under Hitchcock and fail to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

1996-97: The Stars finish first in the Central Division with a record of 48-26-8. However, they lose to the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

1997-98: The Stars win the Central Division and the Presidents' Trophy with a 49-22-11 record. They advance to the Western Conference Final but lose to the Detroit Red Wings in six games.


[RELATED: Hitchcock retires as Stars coach]


June 19, 1999: Hitchcock and Dallas win the Stanley Cup for the first time in Stars franchise history with a 2-1 triple-overtime victory against the Buffalo Sabres in Game 6 of the Final.

June 10, 2000: The Stars' quest for a second straight Stanley Cup championship ends with a 2-1 double-overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the Final.

2000-01: The Stars win their fifth consecutive division title under Hitchcock but lose to the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Jan. 25, 2002: Hitchcock is fired with the Stars fourth in the division, with a record of 23-17-4 with six ties.

May 14, 2002: Hitchcock is hired as coach of the Flyers, replacing Bill Barber.

2003-04: The Flyers finish first in the Atlantic Division but lose to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Oct. 24, 2006: With the Flyers off to a 1-6-1 start, Hitchcock is fired.

Nov. 22, 2006: Hitchcock is hired as coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, replacing Claude Noel.

2008-09: Hitchcock coaches the Blue Jackets to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time, but they are swept in the first round by the Red Wings.

Feb. 3, 2010: With the Blue Jackets next-to-last in the Western Conference at 22-27-9, Hitchcock is fired.

Nov. 6, 2011: The Blues hire Hitchcock to replace Davis Payne. They go 43-15-11 in 69 games under Hitchcock and finish first in the Central Division for their first division title since 1999-2000. However, they are swept by the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Semifinals. Hitchcock wins the Jack Adams Award as the top coach in the NHL.

2014-15: The Blues win their second division title under Hitchcock, finishing 51-24-7. However, they lose to the Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference First Round.

2015-16: The Blues finish second in the Central Division with a 49-24-9 record. After three consecutive first-round losses in the playoffs, they defeat the Chicago Blackhawks and Stars in back-to-back seven-game series to advance to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2001. They lose to the San Jose Sharks in six games.

June 13, 2016: Hitchcock, who had signed a one-year contract May 31, announces he will retire from the Blues at the end of the 2016-17 season. At the same press conference, Mike Yeo is hired as associate coach and named Hitchcock's replacement for the 2017-18 season.

Feb. 1, 2017: Hitchcock is fired by the Blues one day after a 5-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets drops their record to 24-21-5. Yeo is promoted to replace him.

April 13, 2017: The Stars bring back Hitchcock for a second stint as coach after failing to make the playoffs under Lindy Ruff. Hitchcock signs a multiyear contract that includes an agreement to move into a consulting position after he steps down as coach.

April 13, 2018: Less than a week after the Stars finish out of the playoffs with a 42-32-8 record, Hitchcock announces his retirement from coaching. He is slated to remain with the organization as a consultant

Nov. 20, 2018: Hitchcock comes out of retirement when he is hired by the Edmonton Oilers as coach after Todd McLellan is fired. The Edmonton native gets his first victory with the Oilers a few hours later when they defeat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in overtime. It's his 824th win as an NHL coach, third all-time behind Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Joel Quenneville (890).

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.