St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is planning to "give back" to a community of coaches who want to sign up for guidance from a Jack Adams Award winner.
Hitchcock is arranging three days of free seminars in St. Louis from Oct. 9-11 for area coaches at various levels ranging from travel to high school to house leagues. He said Thursday there were already 80 coaches signed up for the clinics that will take place at the St. Louis Mills Ice Zone, the Blues' practice facility.
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"The thing I learned in the (2004-05) lockout when we were in Philadelphia is as coaches in the NHL all we do is take, and now this is our chance to give back, so you might as well stay active in it," Hitchcock told NHL.com.
"We've had people sit in, ex-players, and watch us present our videos to make sure they all understand it," Hitchcock added. "All that ended last week and now it's like, 'OK, let's start looking at the future' ... We figure, let's start helping other people reach their goals."
Hitchcock, who won the Jack Adams Award last season, said the entire Blues coaching and training staff is "digging in" to be a part of the clinics. He added that the seminars will take place even if a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached and NHL players are back to work by Oct. 9.
Hitchcock said he first gave the free coaching seminars in Philadelphia and they were "wildly successful." He wrote down several of the topics he covered then and will bring them back, updated of course, next month.
Hitchcock plans to be present and involved in all three seminars.
"There are five of us there and everybody is making a presentation," he said. "We're changing the topics for the different levels."
Hitchcock said he will travel to provide some guidance and assistance to some of his former players who have entered the coaching fraternity. He saw several of them at a recent United States Hockey League event and most have asked for his input.
"Hey, we have to do this stuff," Hitchcock said. "You've got to give back, and we've got to do it now."
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