Well, any thoughts (hopes, maybe?) that Blue Jackets fans might have had about replacing Scott Arniel with Ken Hitchcock were quickly squelched late this weekend.
Hitchcock -- the only coach to ever get the Columbus Blue Jackets into the Playoffs -- is about to make the Jackets' long climb back into contention that much harder. Because not only is he no longer an option to take over -- if he ever was one -- he's taking over as a head coach in the Central Division.
St. Louis made the announcement today. After a 6-7-0 start, the Blues canned Davis Payne and hired Hitch. Think about that a moment... 6-7-0, and changing coaches.
I can almost guarantee at this very moment that the rest of the NHL thinks Columbus is downright INSANE right now.
Still... it's a great move for both sides.
For Hitch... let's face it... this guy was not meant to be a "consultant," or whatever the hell he was doing here in Columbus. Ken Hitchcock doesn't belong in an office... he belongs behind the bench. Obviously, it's good for the Blues, too. Hitch will help ignite veterans like Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner, and push them to lead the younger guys as well. The Blues are a good, physical and tough team. Having Hitch makes them instantly tougher. And better.
Yes, it sucks to lose him, but... hey, what would you do?
It sucks that it's in the same division, though.
Good luck to you, Hitch...
...not that good, though.
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