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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Blue Jackets bring on big-name coach

In the past few years I must admit that NHL hockey has almost fallen off my personal radar screen. Thanks to a fan-killing strike and a dispute that led to losing their ESPN contract, the NHL is just another sport that's out there to me just like the Canadian Football League, the X Games and Division III College Basketball. But even I had to be impressed when I heard that the Columbus Blue Jackets have hired Ken Hitchcock as their new head coach. After a 5-13-2 start for the Blue Jackets, a team that had playoff aspirations in 2006-2007, it's easy to see why there was so much disappointment. Despite being the only pro team in the city, the Columbus hockey team could not hold a candle to the #1 Ohio State football team and even to the #3 Ohio State basketball team. With a slow start to the new season it was clear that something had to be done, and the hiring of Hitchcock is what the fans in Columbus are hoping was indeed the correct move.

The hiring of Hitchcock is significant for many reasons. The guy is a proven winner having never completed a full season with a losing record. Not only is he a winner in the regular season with a career mark of 408-227-88-28, but he is also a proven winner in the postseason with a 66-51 playoff record and a Stanley Cup Championship with the Dallas Stars in 1998-1999.

Only time will tell if the hiring of Hitchcock was the right move for the Blue Jackets, but for now it sure seems to be a step in the right direction.


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