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1/28/14 OT

Kenneth S. Hitchcock (born December 17, 1951), nicknamed "Hitch", is an NHL hockey coach and pro scout, currently coaching the St. Louis Blues. He has also served as head coach of the NHL's Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, and Columbus Blue Jackets. He coached the Stars to a Stanley Cup victory in 1999.

He is an assistant coach for the 2014 Canadian Olympic Hockey Team.

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Early years[edit]

While growing up in western Canada, Hitchcock played hockey. Hitchcock found he could motivate players. This mind led him to coaching, first at various levels in the Edmonton area, and later a ten-year stint at the helm of the midget AAA Sherwood Park Chain Gang. Hitchcock led Sherwood Park (an Edmonton suburb) to an outstanding record of 575–69. In his spare time, "Hitch" taught hockey fundamentals to girls at a local hockey school.

Taking a chance, Hitchcock submitted his credentials to the new owners of the WHL's Kamloops Blazers, Gary Cooper and Colin Day. Hitchcock assumed his position behind the bench for the 1984–85 season, and had an immediate effect on the Blazers, leading them to four consecutive division titles and two league titles (in 1985–86 and 1989–90). In both of the seasons he guided the Blazers to the league title, Hitchcock was named the WHL Coach of the Year, and he was named the top coach in Canadian major junior hockey in 1990. Hitch's team appeared in the Memorial Cup tournament twice, never advancing beyond the semi-finals. In six seasons in Kamloops, Hitchcock recorded a 291–125–15 record, which stands as the second best in WHL history.



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