5 things to know about new Edmonton Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock

Click to play video: 'Todd McLellan out as Edmonton Oilers’ head coach, Ken Hitchcock in'
Todd McLellan out as Edmonton Oilers’ head coach, Ken Hitchcock in
WATCH ABOVE: Todd McLellan has been fired as the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers. The team announced Tuesday Ken Hitchcock will take over behind the bench – Nov 20, 2018

Ken Hitchcock has put a brief retirement behind him to coach his hometown Edmonton Oilers, replacing the fired Todd McLellan.

Here are five things to know about the latest coach that will try to guide the once proud franchise out of the hockey wilderness.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers in familiar position with Todd McLellan firing

Early Days

The Oilers job won’t be Hitchcock’s first coaching gig in the Edmonton area. He is from the city and cut his teeth behind the bench coaching a triple-A midget team called the Sherwood Park Chain Gang for 10 years.

On Tuesday, United Sport & Cycle put up a massive sign welcoming “Hitch” back to the city.

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Edmonton’s United Sport and Cycle shows “Welcome home Hitch!” sign as the Oilers announced Tuesday, Nov. 20 Ken Hitchcock will replace Todd McLellan as head coach of the team. Charles Taylor, Global News

Blazing a Trail

FILE – In this Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017 file photo, Dallas Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock looks on from the bench during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild in Dallas. AP Photo/LM Otero, File

Hitchcock found immediate success as head coach of the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers when he assumed head coaching duties for the 1984-85 season.

The Blazers won four division titles and two league titles under his watch, and Hitchcock was named the top coach in major junior hockey in 1990.

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Shooting Star

After a few seasons as an NHL assistant coach and a head coach in the American Hockey League, Hitchcock was promoted to head coach of the Dallas Stars on Jan. 8, 1996 after Bob Gainey stepped down to concentrate on general manager duties.

READ MORE: Ken Hitchcock says legendary University of Alberta coach Clare Drake changed hockey

Hitchcock posted a 277-154-60-12 record in his first stint in Dallas, including a Stanley Cup victory in 1999.

Consistent Success

In this June 20, 1999, file photo, Dallas Stars coach Ken Hitchcock hoists the Stanley Cup after the Stars defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in triple overtime in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals in Buffalo, N.Y. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

While Hitchcock has not won another Stanley Cup over his 22-season career, his teams have usually been competitive. In two stints in Dallas as well as runs with Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis, Hitchcock posted a record of 823-506-88-119 with eight division titles. His 823 wins are the third most in NHL history.

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He won the Jack Adams award as the league’s coach of the year in 2012.

O Canada

Associate coach Ken Hitchcock during the Canadian Olympic men’s hockey orientation camp in Calgary on Wednesday Aug, 26, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

Hitchcock is also a decorated international coach, helping Canada win Olympic gold medals as an assistant coach in 2002, 2010 and 2014.

He led Canada to a silver medal at the 2008 world championship and was an assistant coach on the 2002 championship team. He was also an assistant on Canada’s gold-medal team at the 1987 world junior championship.

Watch above: Todd McLellan is out as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers and Ken Hitchcock is in. Kevin Karius has more on the move and what it means for the team moving forward.

Click to play video: 'Todd McLellan fired, Ken Hitchcock takes over as Edmonton Oilers head coach'
Todd McLellan fired, Ken Hitchcock takes over as Edmonton Oilers head coach

With a file from Global News.


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