After 6 years of coaching the St. Louis Blues, 5 Playoff appearances, 1 trip to the Western Conference Finals and countless goaltending and line changes, Ken Hitchcock has been fired.
A season that started with many having high hopes of repeating the previous year’s playoff success, spiraled out of control faster than the Minnesota Wild did under Mike Yeo, AKA: Hitchcock Jr. (Imagine if we had HIM as our Head Coach, haha.)
Hitchcock’s time in St. Louis will be remembered as a time when the only thing you knew was a sure thing in the lineup was that Tarasenko would be paired with Jori “Boat Anchor” Lehtera, a time where it didn’t really matter how you played as a goalie, because one way or another Jake Allen was going to steal your job. (sorry, Bishop and Elliott) A time where the most consistent thing was the sloppy consistency of the bowl of oatmeal Hitchcock ate every morning. A time where speaking out about the system not working was cause to trade your 1st line RW instead of fixing the broken system. (sorry, T.J. Oshie) A time when dinosaurs ruled the earth and… oops, sorry, that was back when Hitchcock was coaching the Flyers.
Basically, somewhere along the line, the ball got dropped. The Blues turned to drafting / trading for smaller and more skilled players like Fabbri, Schwartz and Yakupov, and had fewer big bodies like Backes, Brouwer and Ott. Hitch wanted to keep playing hockey the way they did in the olden days, but with a smaller roster that was built to play a speedier game like Tampa Bay or Chicago, dumping the puck in and fighting for it in the corners day in and day out just didn’t work the same as it used to, and Hitchcock couldn’t adjust to the new, faster style of play that is beginning to dominate the NHL.
Hitchcock looks forward to opening his new weight training clinic in Sunset Hills next year, which will feature revolutionary new weight loss tactics such as the dump and chase, the shutout streak, and, his personal favorite: the intangibles. The former NHL coach also plans to release a mental self-help book entitled “Mind Games with Hitch”.