Reports: Hitchcock meets with Blue Jackets officials

Updated: November 20, 2006, 7:55 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Ken Hitchcock met with Columbus Blue Jackets president and general manager Doug MacLean on Sunday to discuss the team's head coaching position, according to multiple reports.

Hitchcock was seen near the team's facility -- Nationwide Arena -- Sunday, the Columbus Dispatch reported, and sources familiar with the process told the Dispatch and The Philadelphia Inquirer that Hitchcock met with MacLean and majority owner John H. McConnell.

Gerald Gallant was fired as Blue Jackets head coach last week, and the team is 0-3 under interim coach Gary Agnew.

Hitchcock is the top candidate, according to the report, on a list that also includes former Los Angeles Kings coach Andy Murray; Pat Quinn, who was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in April; and Mike Keenan, who was forced to resign as Florida Panthers general manager.

Sources told The Sports Network of Canada that Murray would interview with the Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

Columbus is in last place in the Western Conference's Central Division with a 5-12-1-0 record. The team's 11 points and 39 goals scored are league worsts.

Hitchcock was fired after a 1-6-1 start by the Flyers, a veteran squad that had apparently tuned him out because of his demanding style that might play better with the young Blue Jackets.

Hitchcock has a 408-249-100 record in 10 NHL seasons with the Dallas Stars and the Flyers. He was at the helm when the Stars win the Stanley Cup in 1999.

Hitchcock has two years remaining on his contract with the Flyers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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