Oilers name Ken Hitchcock head coach

Ken Hitchcock (John Maxmena, Wikimedia Commons)

The Edmonton Oilers have named Ken Hitchcock their 15th head coach in franchise history on Tuesday. A native of Edmonton, Hitchcock takes over from Todd McLellan of Melville, Saskatchewan, who was released from his duties.

The Oilers become the fifth National Hockey League franchise Hitchcock has coached. He has previously been with the Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers and St. Louis Blues. In 21 National Hockey League seasons, Hitchcock has only missed the playoffs four times (twice with the Stars and twice with the Blue Jackets). He will be expected to guide the Edmonton Oilers to the playoffs this season as they are currently five points back of the Stars for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Hitchcock is third all-time in regular season coaching wins with 823. He is only behind Scotty Bowman of Montreal, Quebec, who has 1244 wins with the Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins from 1967-2002, and Joel Quenneville of Windsor, Ontario, who has 890 wins with the Blues, Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks from 1996-2018.

The Oilers are in win mode now according to management. Otherwise, they would not have brought Hitchcock on board. However at age 66, it will be interesting to see how long Hitchcock will be with the Oilers. For now, he is coaching in his home city of Edmonton and his contract will be until the end of the 2018-19 NHL season.


Written by 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *