The St. Louis Blues’ head coach Ken Hitchcock has spent a long time behind the bench of various NHL organizations. Two decades if anyone’s counting.
That’s a significant amount of time to be at one position, and although he plainly stated that this season will be his last, how could he leave if the Blues are on the cusp of success?
Fifty Years of Blues
It’s no secret that St. Louis’ situation hasn’t been the greatest in their 50 years of existence. They have yet to hoist the Stanley Cup and have been reminded of that fact over and over again. Although it hasn’t been for a lack of trying, the Blues and their fans are left hoping that it will be their year each and every season. While that has yet to happen, the Blues seem like a team that is on the brink of excellence.
It’s been half a century for the franchise and they’re in rather desperate need of a win. That, coupled with the rather solid play of the team thus far, makes it seem like this might actually be the year they get what they have so longingly coveted.
If that’s the case and the Blues walk away as the 2017 Stanley Cup Champions, how could Hitchcock up and walk out? He’s only won once before, back in 1999 with the Dallas Stars. That was at the very beginning of his head coaching career in the league and it has to be something he strives to do again.
Young players often express their lack of appreciation for winning the Stanley Cup early in their careers because they just don’t appreciate it as much as they should. Seasoned veterans, on the other hand, will do nearly anything to chase the Cup. Just look at guys like Brenden Morrow and Jarome Iginla. They have shown their willingness to move teams year after year to hopefully find themselves a Stanley Cup victory.
That has to be a similar mindset to what Hitchcock feels. He was only an NHL head coach for three seasons before hoisting the Cup and it certainly wouldn’t have had the same impact on him then that it would now.
St. Louis may or may not come out victorious this season. Although the hope is that all the right pieces will fall into place and next season will open with a Stanley Cup banner rising over Scottrade Center, nothing in the NHL is predictable.
It’s early in the season but it would be hard to imagine a man as dedicated to hockey as Ken Hitchcock leaving behind the Gateway City if it’s also home to the 2017 Stanley Cup Champions.