ST. LOUIS -- Despite coaching 1,042 games in the NHL and winning a Stanley Cup and two Olympic Gold Medals, new Blues coach Ken Hitchcock believes his best coaching is still ahead of him.
Fresh off a 21-month break that he said rejuvenated all aspects of his life, the 59-year-old Hitchcock took over a Blues team Monday looking for their first playoff win since 2004.
The Blues fired Davis Payne Sunday night and replaced him with the veteran Hitchcock after a disappointing 6-7 start left them 14th in the Western Conference.
"I've learned over time as a coach that as you get older, the game changes," Hitchcock said. "I think I'm as current or more current as anybody in the National Hockey League at understanding what changes have taken place, not only with the style of the game but in the dealing with the personnel.
"This time away for me has really been a godsend. It's helped me heath wise, it's helped me physically, it's helped me emotionally I'm energized and I'm excited."