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Blue Jackets hire Hitchcock as new coach

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Blue Jackets, seeking an experienced hand to develop their young players, hired veteran Ken Hitchcock as head coach Wednesday.

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

Hitchcock said what appealed to him about the Blue Jackets was more than their core of young players.

"It's that, but it's also that they have veteran players who have won the Stanley Cup before, guys who know what it takes," he said. "They've got people like Sergei Fedorov, Adam Foote and Fredrik Modin who know what it takes to win."

Hitchcock will be behind the bench when the Blue Jackets play his former team, the Flyers, on Friday afternoon in Philadelphia.