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Stars Hire Hitch (again)

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Otis Driftwood
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Stars Hire Hitch (again) 

Post#1 » by Otis Driftwood » Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:59 pm

Dallas Stars go the nostalgic route, hiring coach Ken Hitchcock to replace Lindy Ruff, sources confirm
https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-stars/stars/2017/04/12/stars-go-nostalgic-route-hiring-coach-ken-hitchcock-replace-lindy-ruff

Not what I would have done... but I also understand the thought process. He fits and the owner wanted to hire him before he bought the team. And - Hitch loves Dallas. He will bring a mentality that defense matters. The kids on the blue line will grow up... just like Hatcher, Matvichuk and Sydor did. He made Mike Modano into a two way player. Here's hoping he can do the same with Tyler Seguin. And Valeri Nichushkin can probably just stay in Russia. If he thought he had issues with Ruff, Hitch would wear his ass out. Still need a goal keeper. No one is confusing either of these guys with Belfour. I'm sure that will get addressed after the playoffs.
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Otis Driftwood
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Re: Stars Hire Hitch (again) 

Post#2 » by Otis Driftwood » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:19 pm

I'm going to talk to myself... listen if you choose.

The only way Ken Hitchcock's reunion with the Dallas Stars will work is if GM Jim Nill does this
https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-stars/stars/2017/04/12/way-ken-hitchcocks-reunion-dallas-stars-will-work-gm-jim-nill


Ken Hitchcock was stuck in no man's land in 2010, let go by the Columbus Blue Jackets in February and still without a job in September. So he called on Olympics coaching buddy Mike Babcock for a favor.

The veteran bench boss, who fidgets when he's away from hockey, asked Babcock if he could attend Detroit's training camp in Traverse City, Mich., to just soak up the Red Wings way.

"Hitch phoned me and said, 'I want to learn, can I come to the camp?'" Babcock told Ansar Khan of M-Live at the time. "He wants to learn, but I want to learn, too. ... Hitch has been around winning his whole life, he loves hockey. If he can get something from us and we can get something from him, that's a bonus situation."

Hitchcock hung out with the Detroit crew through training camp and exchanged ideas with Babcock, GM Ken Holland and then-assistant GM Jim Nill, attending meetings and watching the process of drilling the Red Wings. So it shouldn't be a surprise when now-Stars GM Jim Nill names Hitchcock the new coach of his team Thursday. The two are very familiar.

They have to be.

If you're going to hire Ken Hitchcock as your coach, then your job just got a lot tougher. "Hitch" is a detail man, a perfectionist, a nagger. He's going to annoy the players, and they are going to run to the GM -- or the owner. That's how pro sports work -- and not just today.

Back when he was getting his coaching start with the Stars in the 1990s, young Ken Hitchcock didn't care that he was handed a group of future Hall of Famers that included Mike Modano, Joe Nieuwendyk, Ed Belfour and Brett Hull. He picked away at their play, he criticized their work ethic, he demanded more.

And it drove the players crazy.

But every time somebody went to Bob Gainey, the general manager smiled and shrugged and said to suck it up. He told these decorated veterans that the chubby guy in the track suit was the boss. He backed Ken Hitchcock unconditionally.

And let's just say that he made it very clear that running an end-around to the owner was not going to be tolerated. Gainey commanded that much respect -- and also created more than just a little fear with his steely demeanor.

That's what Jim Nill has to do now. He has to work with Hitchcock, but mostly he has to support him. He has to make it clear that even if Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin aren't happy, Hitchcock's vote matters the most. That's the only way this is going to work.

The Stars want defensive details and discipline, and those don't come naturally. They come through repetition and focus and hard work. Nill has talked about being an "everyday pro" since his arrival in 2013. His players are about to find out what that really means.

When you look at this thing on the surface, it's easy to say that you can't relive the past, you can't go back 20 years to find answers. But hiring Hitchcock isn't really going back, it's trusting in your experiences.

Nill was part of a Detroit organization that employed two of the most difficult coaches in NHL history -- Babcock and Scotty Bowman. Both were demanding, both were perfectionists, both were naggers. And it would have been easy for the players to revolt, to talk to Holland or owner Mike Ilitch.

They didn't, because the infrastructure was there to support the coach, no matter how eccentric his demands might be.

Nill was part of that infrastructure, so he knows what he's getting into. He knows that hiring Ken Hitchcock will make his job a lot tougher, and the guess here is he welcomes the challenge.

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