Ken Hitchcock wasn’t sure how long he would coach the Dallas Stars the second time around after 15 years away.
Turned out to be one season.
The coach who led Dallas to its only Stanley Cup championship retired Friday Eric Kendricks Jersey , ending a 22-year career as the third-winningest coach in NHL history. The 823 wins are behind only Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Joel Quenneville (884). He’s fourth in total games with 1,536.
The 66-year-old Hitchcock will become a consultant for the Stars.
”I have contemplated this since our last game and I came to the conclusion that now is the right time to step away and let the younger generation of coaches take over,” said Hitchcock, who last year signed a multiyear contract that included the stipulation of becoming a consultant when he was finished coaching.
Hitchcock returned to Dallas after 14 seasons elsewhere, including stops in Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis. General manager Jim Nill hoped Hitchcock could get the Stars back to the playoffs, but a late-season slump kept them out for the second straight year and the eighth time in 10 seasons.
”We were honored to have Ken as our head coach and it was fitting that he finished his coaching here,” Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said. ”He is a certain Hockey Hall of Fame coach and he left a lasting legacy wherever he went.”
The Stars went to the Stanley Cup Final in consecutive seasons, beating Buffalo for the title in 1999 before losing to New Jersey in six games. Those are the only times Hitchcock or the Stars have made it to the final.
Dallas also won five straight division titles under Hitchcock Forrest Lamp Jersey , who was fired from his first head-coaching job with the team sliding in January 2002. He coached the Flyers from 2002-06, followed by the Blue Jackets (2006-10) and the Blues (2011-17).
St. Louis made the playoffs in each of Hitchcock’s five full seasons, reaching the Western Conference finals in 2016 after beating top seed Dallas in seven games in the second round. The Blues abruptly fired Hitchcock in February last year, cutting short what was already going to be his last season with the Blues after their fifth loss in six games.
”To each and every player that I coached, I wish I could do it all over again,” said Hitchcock, a Canadian whose record is 823-506 with 88 ties and 119 losses in overtime or a shootout. ”You guys were the main reason for the all the wins, and I enjoyed coaching each and every one of you.”
Nill turned to Hitchcock when the Stars had 79 points, their second-fewest in a full season since moving Dallas in 1993-94, in the last of four seasons under Lindy Ruff.
Led by high-scoring forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin and one of the top-scoring defensemen in John Klingberg Dalvin Tomlinson Jersey , the Stars were solidly positioned for the playoffs in March before an eight-game losing streak that started with six losses on the road.
Still, Dallas improved significantly in a year, finishing with 92 points, just three out of the playoffs. And Nill said Hitchcock went out on his terms.
”To have him instill what he put into our organization, to help build this foundation, it’s going to pay dividends for us down the road,” Nill said. ”He made a lot of these players a lot better.”
Nill essentially described a wide-open coaching search that could take time depending on whether potential candidates are on teams still alive in the playoffs, including teams in the minor leagues.
The sixth-year general manager has chosen veteran NHL head coaches both times with the Stars.
”I want to be pretty open-minded about this,” Nill said. ”You’re seeing some successful young coaches come in. And there’s some successful coaches out there that have great resumes. I think there’s a big variable there.”
Hitchcock’s playoff record is 86-82, and he also has an extensive background with Team Canada K'Waun Williams Jersey , which is where he forged a relationship with Nill. In Detroit, Nill was still an assistant GM when Hitchcock was a guest coach on Mike Babcock’s staff during training camp in 2010.
”He poured his whole life into better understanding in-game concepts and strategy, inspiring players and enhancing teams,” Nill said. ”He leaves an indelible mark on the game, and his influence will be felt across the sport for years to come.”
The Arizona Cardinals suspended general manager Steve Keim for five weeks and fined him $200,000 after he pleaded guilty in court Tuesday to extreme DUI following a Fourth of July arrest in a Phoenix suburb.
A Chandler police report shows Keim had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19, more than twice Arizona’s legal limit of 0.08 for drivers.
It wasn’t immediately clear when Keim would be sentenced or if he was facing a jail term.
The Cardinals report to training camp at University of Phoenix Stadium on July 27.
Keim has been the Cardinals GM since 2013 and signed a contract extension in February through the 2022 NFL season.
According to the arrest report, Keim told police he only had two beers and ate pizza two hours before he got pulled over around 12:30 a.m. in Chandler.
But officers said they smelled alcohol on Keim’s breath and he had slurred speech.
Keim also refused to take several field sobriety tests, but did consent to have his blood drawn.
”As stated at the time of the incident, this behavior is indefensible and completely unacceptable Doug Baldwin Jersey ,” the Cardinals said in a statement Tuesday. ”While Steve has accepted full accountability and responsibility for his actions, that does not diminish their gravity nor the severity of the consequences that result from them.
”Those who work within the National Football League – particularly those in leadership positions – bear a greater responsibility and are held to a higher standard than simply a legal one and we feel that these measures are reflective of that.”
During his suspension, Keim will be barred from the Cardinals’ facilities and prohibited contact with the team.
He won’t be allowed to return to the team until after he’s completed counseling and evaluation plus a DUI education course.
The $200,000 fine will be donated to the Arizona chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
”Once again, I apologize to everyone who has been negatively impacted by my actions and incredibly poor judgment, in particular the Cardinals, our fans and my family,” Keim said in a statement released by the team Tuesday.
”I fully deserve and accept the punishment that has been issued. My goal is to do everything I can to grow from this personally and help others learn from my inexcusable behavior.”
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