Stars Head Coach Ken Hitchcock To Retire

Josh Clark
April 13, 2018 - 9:43 am
Dallas Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - One year after he returned to coach the Dallas Stars, Ken Hitchcock is retiring from coaching, the team announced Friday. He'll remain with the Stars in a consulting role. 

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News was the first to report the news.

Hitchcock released a statement on his decision to retire, via the Dallas Stars.

"I would like to announce I am officially retiring from active coaching in the National Hockey League. The game of hockey has been my entire life and I could never repay what the game did for me and all the wonderful people I got to meet in my career," Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock added that he had been contemplating retirement since the season ended and "came to the conclusion that now is the right time to step away and let the younger generation of coaches take over."

Ken Hitchcock Letter
Dallas Stars

"We were honored to have Ken as our head coach and it was fitting that he finished his coaching here," said Dallas Stars Owner and Governor Tom Gaglardi. "He is a certain Hockey Hall of Fame coach and he left a lasting legacy wherever he went. He will forever be a Dallas Star and I look forward to his continued friendship."

Hitchcock began his head coaching career in Dallas in January of 1996. Under his watch, the Stars won their only Stanley Cup in 1999 over the Buffalo Sabres. They also advanced to the Stanley Cup in 2000 but ultimately lost to the New Jersey Devils. He was fired in 2001 after the club advanced to the conference semi-finals. 

After coaching stops in Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis, Hitchcock returned to coach the Stars in 2017.

It was a disappointing end to what was supposed to be a very promising season for the Stars. Dallas was in the heart of the playoff race for much of the campaign but floundered down the stretch, failing to get points in 8 of their final 14 games, two of which came when they were eliminated from the race. They finished in 10th place in the Western Conference with 92 points. 

"Ken Hitchcock is an icon when it comes to head coaches, not only in hockey, but across all of sports , " stated Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill. "He poured his whole life into better understanding in-game concepts and strategy, inspiring players and enhancing teams. He leaves an indelible mark on the game and his influence will be felt across the sport for years to come. We want to thank Ken for all that he has given throughout his coaching career."

The 67-year-old Hitchcock finishes third all-time in coaching wins with 823. He is the Stars franchise leader in games coached (823), wins (319), playoff games coached (80) and playoff wins (47), according to Heika.