Coaching Moves in the NHLBy Allen Moody
There were several coaching moves in the NHL Wednesday morning. The Dallas Stars will announce Ken Hitchcock as their new coach. Hitchcock was fired by St. Louis on Feb. 1.
He led the Stars to their only Stanley Cup in 1998-99 and won a Jack Adams award in 2011-12. Hitchcock compiled a 248-124-41 record with the Blues, making his dismissal odd. He was scheduled to turn the team over to Mike Yeo next season. But the Blues got a head start on things.
At age 65, Hitchcock isn’t going to be a long-term fix for Dallas, but he is perfect in the short term. The man knows how to win and sported a 277-154-60-12 record with the Stars in his first stint.
The New York Islanders removed the interim label from Doug Weight and named him coach for the 2017-18 season after he led them to 24-12-4 record. When he was hired, the Islanders were in last place but made a serious run at the playoffs with him in charge.
“I’m honored to be named Head Coach of such an historic franchise with one of the most passionate fan-bases in the NHL,” Weight said in a press release. “There is a deep history of winning with the Islanders and I look forward to doing everything in my power to return to the playoffs and have success.”
Weight played the final three seasons of his career with the Islanders.
“Doug has earned this opportunity from the tremendous work he has put in over the past five seasons in our front office and especially from the time he took over as interim Head Coach earlier this season,” president and general Manager Garth Snow said in the release. “His leadership and experiences from both playing and behind the bench are valuable intangibles that not every coach can translate into a winning formula. He’s gained the trust and respect from our entire team, making him the best choice to become Head Coach.”