Here's how St. Louis stacked against the rest of the NHL under Ken Hitchcock, who was head coach there from Nov. 2011 to Jan. 2017. pic.twitter.com/yr0BSSFfiD— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) April 12, 2017
Although it is not official till today’s press conference, at 11 am, look for Ken Hitchcock to be the next Dallas Stars head coach. Hitchcock is the only coach in franchise history to win a Stanley Cup back in 1999.
Stars owner Tom Gaglardi wanted to hire Hitchcock seven years ago. But the sale of the team from Tom Hicks was still in the works, Gaglardi didn't quite own the team and he could not convince GM Joe Nieuwendyk to make the move. Nieuwendyk hired Glen Gulutzan, now leading the Calgary Flames into the playoffs.
Hitch is known as defensive oriented coach and has been known to butt heads with players. The Stars this season had the 2nd worst goals against this season. So it will be interesting to see how this team goes from from a high risk/high reward team to a more defensive minded team. (SportsDay DFW)
Audio: Mike Modano talks Ken Hitchcock on The Ticket https://t.co/cgwk3dM7SV— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) April 12, 2017
Texas gave up the 1st goal of the night in their bout with in-state rival San Antonio (Colorado) before recent call up Gemel Smith blooped one over the Rampage’s goalie to tie things up. The Stars team went with a younger lineup last night and they looked pretty good in the 4-3 win. (100 Degree Hockey)
The quest for the cup began last night and you have to love OT hockey in the playoffs.
In other NHL coaching news looks like the 1st ever coach for the Vegas Golden Knights will be Gerard Gallant. Expect an announcement sometime today. (Sportsnet)
What does each team that missed the playoffs need to do during the offseason to turn things around. For the Stars it is the obvious.
Dallas Stars: It was said after 2014-15 the Stars needed a goaltender. It was said again after 2015-16, when newcomer Antti Niemi struggled. But now that the 2016-17 campaign is in the books, it’s time for the Stars to finally do something about their goaltending situation. Niemi and Kari Lehtonen simply haven’t been good enough in Dallas and if the Stars have designs on contending, something has to change between the pipes. The Stars will have to rid themselves of one of the two — that will be the first move — and then use whatever cap space available to pursue a free agent such as Ben Bishop or make a trade to land a starting goaltender.
The rest is here. (The Hockey News)
Hockey writer Elliotte Friedman revealed one of his votes for the NHL post season awards and looks at some coaching moves in his 30 thoughts. (Sportsnet)
3. The coaching roulette wheel stops next in Dallas, as soon as Thursday. It will be Ken Hitchcock. When Stars general manager Jim Nill said last weekend that he’d already interviewed a few candidates, one of them was Hitchcock. Hitchcock has a history with owner Tom Gaglardi and president Jim Lites. He didn’t have one with Nill, and the two had to break bread. It’s clear this came from up top, and things are going to be different. It sounds like Hitchcock will get a one-year deal with an option to become a consultant with the team if he is not retained as head coach. More clarity will come on Thursday.
Jimmy Vesey the 2016 Hobey Baker winner refused to sign with the Nashville Predators, the team that drafted him, last year becoming a free agent and going to the Rangers. Will Butcher the Hobey Baker winner this year from the National Champions Denver Pioneers is in no rush to join the Avalanche not that his collegiate season is done. (Denver Post)
Count Chris Pronger and Phil Kessel among players that didn’t like playing for Canadian based teams. (The Sportster)
Mario Lemieux’s son Austin will play college hockey for the Arizona Sun Devils.
Finally hockey fans can vote on the best ever Stanley Cup winners.