Ken Hitchcock's arrival to the Dallas Stars was always going to be a temporary move, and it lasted not three years but just one.
Hitchcock could go home again, but the results did not follow him.
The best coach in the history of the Dallas Stars has informed them he is retiring. He is expected to remain with the franchise as an adviser.
Hitchcock was hired nearly one year ago to the date, April 13. He was hired to push the Stars back to the playoffs, but that didn't pan out. This season the Stars finished 40-32-8 and missed the postseason for the eighth time in the past 10 years.
Hiring him to replace Lindy Ruff was the right move at the time. The problem was not the coach but rather the roster. The roster is top heavy and in desperate need of depth.
Hitchcock saw that and rather than fight it another year he's done.
Hitchcock is 66, and the end to his coaching career will not include another Stanley Cup moment. While his coaching career is over, he should be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and honored by the Stars.
In 1999, he led the Stars to their only Stanley Cup championship in a six-game series against Buffalo. In 2000, the Stars returned to the Finals, but lost in six games to New Jersey.
Although he never lost support of management, he "lost" the team in 2002 and was fired. They quit on him in order to get him fired.
Hitchcock went on to coach Philadelphia, Columbus and St. Louis. He finishes with a record of 823-506-207, and ranks third all-time in wins, and fourth in games coached.
The Stars now begin the process of finding another new head coach.
One candidate who will be at the top of the list is former New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault. He coached the Rangers for the previous five seasons, but was fired after the team failed to make the playoffs this year.
He was offered the Stars' head coaching job in 2013, and the team believed it had this move wrapped up, but he backed out to take the Rangers' job.