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May 26, 2015 12:08 PM

Blues retain Ken Hitchcock as coach for another season

The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis Blues are sticking with veteran coach Ken Hitchcock for another season.

The Blues and Hitchcock on Tuesday announced a one-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hitchcock took over as Blues coach during the 2011-2012 season. He has led St. Louis to an NHL-best 175-79-27 regular-season record since then. The postseason has been a different story.

Under Hitchcock, the Blues have made it past the first round of the playoffs just once in four tries, and never past the second. This season, they had the third-best record in franchise history (51-24-7, 109 points) but lost in the first round to lower-seeded Minnesota in six games.

The Blues were among several teams who met with Mike Babcock, the former Detroit coach, before he signed with Toronto for a reported $50 million over eight years.

Hitchcock, 63, is the NHL's fourth-winningest coach with a record of 708-429-185. He reached the 700-win milestone on March 12. He has the highest winning percentage of any Blues coach in the history of the franchise.

Hitchcock has coached in the NHL for 18 seasons with Dallas, Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis, making the postseason 13 times. He led Dallas to the 1999 Stanley Cup championship. He won the Jack Adams Award as the league's best coach in 2012.

He is second all-time in wins among Blues coaches with 175, trailing only Joel Quenneville, who had 307.

Despite his success, both general manager Doug Armstrong and Hitchcock were non-committal entering the offseason, leading to Armstrong's discussions with Babcock.


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