Hang onto your hats, it seems we might have a head coach hiring announcement coming in Dallas sooner than later.
Reports this morning from Tim Cowlishaw, and then later seconded by Elliotte Friedman, indicate that Ken Hitchcock is going to be named the next head coach of the Dallas Stars. The announcement could come as early as tomorrow morning.
Hearing word this am media conference to announce Ken Hitchcock as coach of the Stars could come as early as tomorrow— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 12, 2017
There is no denying that Ken Hitchcock gets results. He was hired by the St. Louis Blues six seasons ago, and the Blues have been atop the Central Division for the better part of his tenure. He took the players there and gave them an identity. When the offensive power of Vladimir Tarasenko came along, he let him do the scoring — so long as the backchecking effort was there too.
Yet often people felt the Blues played a heavy, more boring style of play that doesn’t seem to fit with the young-and-gun style the league appears to be moving towards.
Can he be successful in Dallas with the offensive power housed in Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and John Klingberg? I believe he can, yes. But what will change is instead of forwards blowing the defensive zone for the hail-mary hallelujah scoring chance, you’ll see the entire group of five on the ice committed to defensive responsibility.
To be honest, that kind of philosophy will be a welcome change around here.
What I don’t think will happen, though, is a complete disregard for the offensive game. Tarasenko is still fun to watch in St. Louis. Seguin will still be fun to watch here. But maybe Seguin’s game will be more well-rounded. Maybe Radek Faksa, a defensively responsible forward already, can become the next Selke-caliber forward on the Dallas Stars roster under Hitchcock. The penalty kill should be better.
In other words, Hitchcock can provide the structure defensively for the Stars to be successful offensively. It won’t be a creativity-stifling structure a la the New Jersey Devils of the 2000s.
It will be interesting watching how well Hitchcock can adapt his structured style to the (sometimes freewheeling) roster that general manager Jim Nill gives him, and how well the leadership of the team responds to his level of accountability.