Even though yesterday we reported that the Blue Jackets would be
offering Ken Hitchcock a front-office position, you knew his name would
come up in the conversation for the vacant coaching position in New
Jersey. After all, when you think of what coach best personifies the
system the Devils have been using for years and years you keep coming
back to Ken Hitchcock.
It could, in fact, be a perfect fit. Hitchcock’s coaching philosophy
is not unlike that which the Devils have adopted for over a decade. He
is respected and won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999, where
he coached current Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner.
It’s important to note that Lou Lamoriello has stated he has not come
anywhere near starting his coaching search, although it’s entirely
possible that the job finally goes to AHL coach John MacLean.
“No question John would be a candidate,” Lamoriello said. “No
he did an exceptional job in Lowell this year.
“It was the right decision for him to go there and have a team and
see what it’s like to make certain decisions rather than recommend or
support. There is no question, with his maturity and growth as a coach,
Lowell was very good for him.”
As much as a great fit that Hitchcock may or may not be in New
Jersey, you just get the feeling that perhaps it’s time for some new
blood in the coaching ranks. Should the Devils stick with these old
school coaches who have struggles with success in the post-lockout NHL,
or go with a younger coach with new ideas and goals?