Wednesday, April 12, 2017

NHL coaching news: Isles keep Weight, Stars re-hire Hitchcock


    
Weight in an interview with Pierre McGuire
One of the biggest jobs an NHL team offers is the head coaching job. If you are very good, you can be the coach for awhile. But, if your team is struggling, you can be fired before you can say the words "you're fired". Today, there was some big news regarding head coaches in the NHL.
Hitchcock lifting the Cup in 1999
     On January 17, 2017, the New York Islanders had a record of 17-17-8 (42 points), and were last in the Eastern conference. Head coach Jack Capuano was fired, and assistant coach/assistant GM Doug Weight stepped in as interim head coach. The Isles went 24-12-4 (52 points) under Weight, and had the 2nd best record in the league since the firing. The Islanders finished just 1 point out of a playoff spot. But, GM Garth Snow was impressed, and today announced that Weight would be the permanent head coach. "Doug has earned this opportunity from the tremendous work he has put in over the past five seasons in our front office and especially from the time he took over as interim head coach earlier this season," Snow said in a release. Weight was also overjoyed to return as head coach. "I'm honored to be named head coach of such an historic franchise with one of the most passionate fanbases in the NHL. There is a deep history of winning with the Islanders and I look forward to doing everything in my power to return to the playoffs and have success," Doug said in the same release. His contract wasn't released.
       In 1999, Ken Hitchcock was the head coach of the Stanley Cup winning Dallas Stars, with still stands as their only Cup in franchise history. In 2002, Hitchcock was fired. Entering the 2016-17 season, Hitchcock was the head coach of the St. Louis Blues. On February 1, Hitchcock was fired by the Blues, and assistant coach Mike Yeo stepped in as head coach. At the end of the season, the Stars announced that head coach Lindy Ruff, who's contract was ending, would not return. So, the Stars hired Hitchcock, in hopes he can bring the second cup. As with Weight, no contract was released.

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