The NHL’s reigning coach of the year will be with the Blues for at least the next two seasons.
That’s the word out of St. Louis as Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch reports the Blues have signed Ken Hitchcock to a one-year extension — meaning he’s under contract through the 2013-14 season.
The contract also includes a “mutual” option for the 2014-15 campaign.
“This is it for me. This is my last stop,” Hitchcock said. “I want this to be a successful franchise for the next 10-15 years, and I want to be part of it, even if I’m not coaching.”
Hitchcock won the Jack Adams over John Tortorella and Paul MacLean by going 43-15-11 after taking over from Davis Payne in November. It’s not surprising the Blues wanted to lock him up after such a performance, but…
It is interesting to see St. Louis retained Hitch through year three — holding out on the option for four — because if Hitchcock’s last two stops in Philadelphia and Columbus are any indication, his expiry date usually coincides with his fourth year on the job.
The Flyers fired him eight games into his fourth season on the job. The Blue Jackets fired him 58 games into year four.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger