Columbus (5-13-2) at Philadelphia (5-14-3) 1:00 pm EST
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Ken Hitchcock did not leave the city of
Philadelphia on friendly terms. He returns one month later with
his new team, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Hitchcock makes his coaching debut with the Blue Jackets on
Friday when they visit the struggling Philadelphia Flyers.
Hitchcock's hiatus from coaching ended Wednesday when the Blue
Jackets hired him as a long-term replacement for the fired
"Any discussion of the top coaches in the National Hockey League
over the past 10 years has included the name Ken Hitchcock,"
Columbus general manager Doug MacLean said. "He is a proven
winner, a Stanley Cup champion and the ideal coach to help take
our franchise to the next level."
Hitchcock, 54, guided the Dallas Stars to the 1999 Stanley Cup
and Philadelphia to the 2004 Eastern Conference finals. In his
eight full seasons, he has won six division titles and never
finished lower than second.
After receiving a contract extension from the Flyers in training
camp, Hitchcock was fired October 22 after the team got off to
a 1-6-1 start. His all-time record in parts of 11 seasons with
Dallas and Philadelphia is 408-249-100.
Hitchcock faces a tough task in turning around the woeful Blue
Jackets, who have lost seven straight and hope to avoid tying
the longest skid in franchise history.
Columbus looks to rebound from a 4-3 shootout loss to the St.
Louis Blues on Wednesday.
Philadelphia also hopes to bounce back from a tough loss, a 3-2
overtime setback against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.