Ken Hitchcock

Ken Hitchcock on 600th win: ‘It’s basically because I’m old’


Thanks to the St. Louis Blues’ 2-1 shootout victory against the Vancouver Canucks, Ken Hitchcock won the 600th game of his coaching career on Tuesday.

Hitchcock, 61, had a simple and amusing explanation for the milestone (which made him the 11th bench boss in NHL history to reach that mark).

“It’s basically because I’m old,” Hitchcock said. “If you last long and you’re old, you get this.”

Here’s his career record in 1,152 games coached: 600-381-88-83 (88 ties, 83 shootout/OT losses).

Again, he was quick to deflect praise, the next time to his team.

“For me, I’m proud of being able to be a coach in this league, but I’m more proud of the way our team is playing right now,” Hitchcock said. “We’re playing hard.”

Only one other active coach (Chicago’s Joel Quenneville) has more than 600 wins. Hitchcock’s 59.5 career winning percentage only trails Quenneville (61.2 percent) and legend Scotty Bowman (65.7 percent) in NHL history.

Here’s the full list of coaches with at least 600 wins:

Al Arbour
Pat Quinn
Mike Keenan
Dick Irvin
Ron Wilson
Bryan Murray
Jacques Lemaire
Jacques Martin

Already without Eberle, the Oilers could also be missing Hall tonight

Taylor Hall
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Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.

Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.

The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.

Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

HKN Sabres Senators
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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.