April 12, 2017 / 4:17 PM / in a year

NHL: Stars to bring back Hitchcock as coach

(The Sports Xchange) - The Dallas Stars plan to bring back Ken Hitchcock as their next head coach, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

Apr 15, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock speaks with the media following game two of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center. The Blackhawks won the game 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

The official announcement will be made Thursday, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Hitchcock, who was fired as coach of the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 1, coached Dallas for seven seasons (1996-2002), leading the Stars to their lone Stanley Cup championship in 1999. He is the Stars’ all-time leader in victories with a 277-154-60-12 record.

The 65-year-old Hitchcock has a 781-474-88 career record — his wins rank fourth in NHL history — in 20 NHL seasons with the Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Blues.

The Stars announced Sunday that Lindy Ruff would not return as coach in 2017-18 after the team missed the playoffs this season. Ruff’s four-year contract expired after this season and was not renewed.

General manager Jim Nill said at a press conference Monday that he was looking to hire a veteran coach and had already spoken to three candidates.

“I’ve already started the process. Been talking to some people already. Looking for an experienced guy, looking for a good coach,” Nill said. “This isn’t a rebuild. I think we’ve got a lot of good pieces in place. It was a tough year. The tough part was he never really had his team this year.

“Right now I’ve had three people I’ve been talking to. May get expanded here a little bit more. I’m hoping this is going to happen pretty quickly. These guys are all good coaches. This league moves pretty fast. I know there’s other teams looking at things also. I hope that this happens pretty quickly.

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