Monday, June 12, 2006

Is Hitchcock The Key?

Has Ken Hitchcock thrown his name into the list of Canucks coaching candidates? Tim Panaccio was musing so this weekend:

Hitch to Vancouver? Ken Hitchcock is a lame-duck coach. The Flyers aren't hurrying to give him an extension. Vancouver still hasn't hired a coach. Hitchcock could ask to be released from his final year and negotiate with the Canucks. That was the buzz making the rounds last week. Players tend not to perform for lame-duck coaches during tough times, thinking those coaches won't be around much longer. The Flyers can't afford any excuses next season. They need to extend Hitchcock's contract and send a message to their players.
Pure speculation but interesting nonetheless. If Dave Nonis doesn't completely turn over his roster - that is, most of the usual suspects like Naslund, Bertuzzi, Morrison, Jovanovski, Ohlund and Cloutier remain in place - then Hitchcock may be the type of strong personality the team needs.

He is a well-respected coach and knows how to handle veteran players, as evidenced by his 407-221-99-22 coaching record in ten NHL seasons. He has only missed the playoffs twice and has otherwise advanced past the first round in six of eight postseasons. He won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars, reached the Stanley Cup Finals one other time and the conference championships twice more (one with the Stars and another time with the Flyers).

He also has strong BC connections, having started his coaching career with the Kamloops Blazers and steering them to the WHL championship in 1986 and 1990.

Hitch's resume certainly speaks for itself. But even if he is interested in coming to the Wet Coast, are the Canucks mutually interested?

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 5:59 AM


At June 12, 2006 6:50 AM, Anonymous Mike said...

Panaccio is one that usually doesn’t go out on a limb like this, unless he has a good reason.
At any rate I would be very, very shocked if this happened.

At June 12, 2006 9:13 PM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

Not too sure about Panaccio's track record. I have to admit though that while the idea is tempting, part of me feels like this is simply a negotiating ploy on Hitch's part.


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