Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the team has named Ken Hitchcock as head coach.
"Ken is an exceptionally talented coach and we could not be happier to have him joining the organization," said Nill. "He is a meticulous coach who brings with him an emphasis on structure and a defensive style of play, which will accent our level of skill nicely. Ken has an incredible hockey mind and we look forward to his guidance on the ice."
Hitchcock, 65, enters his second stint as head coach of the Stars, having previously spent the first seven seasons of his NHL head coaching career behind the Dallas bench from 1996-2002. In his first tour with Dallas, Hitchcock earned a 277-154-72 record in 503 games as head coach. He currently ranks first in Stars franchise history in games coached (503), wins (277) and points percentage (.622). Hitchcock also amassed a 47-33 record in 80 Stanley Cup Playoff games during his first tenure with the Stars, making five appearances in the postseason. He guided Dallas to two trips to the Stanley Cup Final and led the Stars to the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship in 1999.
"Ken Hitchcock is an established NHL coach that everyone here in Dallas is familiar with, and we couldn't be happier to welcome him back to the organization," said Stars Owner and Governor Tom Gaglardi. "A proven winner, Hitchcock knows exactly what it takes to be successful in this League and he is the perfect fit for what this team needs. His familiarity with the city of Dallas and the Stars organization definitely added to his appeal, and I'm confident that will he will greatly help our group in a number of areas."
The native of Edmonton, Alta. owns a record of 781-474-199 in 1,454 career games coached over 21 seasons with Dallas, Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis. Hitchcock's 1,454 games behind the bench rank fifth in NHL history, while he ranks fourth with 781 and is one win away from tying Al Arbour for third on the League's all-time wins list. The bench boss guided his teams to eight division titles (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2003-04, 2011-12 and 2014-15) and two Presidents Trophies (1997-98 and 1998-99). Hitchcock was also named the Jack Adams Award winner in 2011-12.
During his 21-season coaching career, Hitchcock made 14 appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, amassing an 86-82 record in 168 postseason games coached. Hitchcock ranks eighth all-time in postseason games coached (168) and ninth in postseason wins (86), while he ranks third among all active NHL coaches in both categories. He made five trips to the Conference Finals (1998, 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2016), continuing to two Stanley Cup Finals (1999 and 2000) and winning the Stanley Cup in 1999 with Dallas.
Hitchcock has also represented Team Canada on several occasions on the international stage. He was named to Team Canada for the 2008 IIHF World Championship, leading the squad to the silver medal. Additionally, Hitchcock has served as an Associate Coach on Team Canada five times in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2014, while he helped his teams win gold at the 2002, 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. He was also named an assistant coach for Canada at the 2002 IIHF World Championships and at the 1987 IIHF World Junior Championships, with his teams taking home the gold medal at both.