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Stars, Ruff Part Ways; Ken Hitchcock Returning?


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Ruff Out


The Dallas Stars? General Manager Jim Nill announced today that coach Lindy Ruff will not return as head coach for the 2017-18 season on their website.


?I want to personally thank Lindy for his commitment and professionalism over the four years that he served as our head coach in Dallas,? said Nill. ?Lindy is not only a highly respected coach, he more importantly is a great person and an outstanding family man whom I have the utmost respect for on and off the ice.?


Ruff?s ouster isn?t too much of a surprise after the team finished with a 34-37-11 season for 79 points and a sixth place finish in the Central Division. It was a far cry from last year?s first-place Central campaign in which Ruff coached the Stars to a 50-23-9 season.


The veteran coach, who had come to Dallas after 15 years in Buffalo, had just wrapped up his fourth season with the Stars yesterday after his team defeated the Avalanche 4-3 in a shootout victory. However, it wasn?t enough. Ruff finished his Dallas career with a 165-122-41 record.






Return of Hitch?


?But I think one of the things that?s going on there is that I think they felt that that team ? I?m not sure if country club is the right word, but those players had a lot of say and I think they want to bring the hammer down on them a bit. Like, ?Okay guys. We?ve played a certain way and we took a big step and then this year we just couldn?t play the way we need to play to win.?


?I really think Ken Hitchcock has a decent chance at that job. Ken Hitchcock has obviously a lot of ties to the city. Jim Lites, who?s the president, knows Hitchcock really well. Tom Galiardi, who?s the owner, knows Hitchcock really well ? the Kelowna connection. I think Ken Hitchcock has a decent shot at that job and I think he?s the kind of guy they?re looking for to go in there and say, ?Guys, there?s a different way we?re going to have to play.


?I wouldn?t be surprised if Lindy lands on his feet and gets one of these jobs that ends up being open.?






This isn't surprising given the collapse of a season they've had. For all their issues, especially in goal and on defense this year, the first neck on the block tends to be the head coach.

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