Hitchcock gets set to lead Blues

Hitchcock gets set to lead Blues

Credit: AP

Ken Hitchcock skates on the ice during his first practice after being named head coach of the St. Louis Blues hockey team Monday, Nov. 7, 2011, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

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by Scott Bierman, HockeyStL

HockeyStL

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 7 at 1:39 PM

(HockeyStL) -- The St. Louis Blues introduced Ken Hitchcock at the team’s new manager at a press conference this morning.

After receiving an initital phone call from general manager Doug Armstrong around 3 p.m. on Sunday, Hitchcock was on his way to St. Louis by 6:30 p.m.

What is the first thing he plans to say to his new team?  “Welcome to the 200 foot game.”

Hitchcock stressed the importance of playing a disciplined-style of play that the Blues have seemed to lack in recent years.

“My job is to the get the best players here to play their best and get everybody to follow that suit,” Hitchcock said.  “I think there is a lot of potential for guys here to be top players.”

Despite not coaching since being fired in 2010 by the Columbus Blues Jackets, Hitchcock says he has scouted every team in preparation for his next gig and plans to “hit the ground running.”

Hitchcock has coached 15 seasons with the Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets.  He was also fired by each team despite having a career 534-350-88-70 in 1042 games managed.  He also managed the 1998-99 Stanley Cup champion Dallas Stars.

Hitchcock’s first game as Blues coach will be against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night at the Scottrade Center.

by Scott Bierman, HockeyStL
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