Columbus Blue Jackets Hire Former Stars, Flyers Coach


Columbus, OH - The Columbus Blue Jackets, seeking an experienced hand to develop their crop of young players, hired veteran Ken Hitchcock as head coach Wednesday.

Hitchcock, fired earlier this season by the Philadelphia Flyers, was to be formally introduced as the team's fifth head coach at a news conference at noon Thursday. Team president and general manager Doug MacLean announced Hitchcock's hiring shortly before the team took the ice against St. Louis.

Hitchcock replaces interim head coach Gary Agnew, an assistant to Gerard Gallant who was elevated to replace Gallant after he was fired Nov. 14.

Hitchcock, 54, did not immediately return messages left on his cell phone.

The Blue Jackets came into Wednesday night's game with the worst record in the NHL at 5-13-1-0 and riding a six-game losing skid.