Some National Hockey League coaches and players sometimes want a last go - to see if they can be a contender, if they can make it to the finals, if they can win a last Stanley Cup before hanging up the skates. Or the coaching board in this situation.
It has been revealed that Dallas Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock is expected to announce his retirement from coaching Friday and accept a job as advisor with the Stars, according to a source close to the situation that has spoken to Mike Heika of SportsDay and the Dallas Morning News.
The team later confirmed the news, stating that Hitchcock was indeed retiring as a coach to remain with the Stars as a consultant.
Hitchcock posted a 42-32-8 record this season with the Stars, the first year of his second stint with the team. Back in 1995, the 67-year-old first became an NHL head coach with the Stars. He now sits third all-time in coaching wins and fourth in games coached in the entire league.
Hitchcock won the Stanley Cup in the fourth season of his first stint as head coach of the Stars, defeating the Buffalo Sabres in six games in the 1999 final.
After he was fired mid-way through the 2016-17 season by the St. Louis Blues, many believe Hitchcock would call it quits there and announce his retirement, but he decided to re-joined the Stars last year instead.
After his first season back with the Stars, Hitchcock still managed to find a lot of positive to say about his season with Dallas. However, he did not hint back then at a potential retirement.
“I really enjoyed it. I said to the coaching staff that I’ve never seen a team that practices like this in my life. I’ve never seen a team that practices this hard. Maybe the practices were hard, I don’t know. Maybe as I get older, I make the practices get harder, I’m not sure. But I’ve never seen a team practice like this, so you know you’ve got a good situation going.”
“We got to raise the bar here. Never mind looking for a playoff spot; we have to chase the big dogs. That’s the next step for all of us. I want us chasing the big dogs. That’s going to be the big focus for me.”
He has a 823-506-88-119 record over 22 years with the Stars, Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers.