Ken Hitchcock, who led Stars to only Cup title, returns as coach

The Dallas Stars are bringing Ken Hitchcock back for a second tour of duty, as the veteran coach was officially hired Thursday.

Hitchcock, 65, coached for parts of seven seasons in Dallas, leading the Stars to their lone Stanley Cup championship in 1999. He will replace Lindy Ruff, who was fired Monday after the Stars missed the playoffs this season.

"Ken is an exceptionally talented coach and we could not be happier to have him joining the organization," Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a statement. "He is a meticulous coach who brings with him an emphasis on structure and a defensive style of play, which will accent our level of skill nicely. Ken has an incredible hockey mind and we look forward to his guidance on the ice."

Hitchcock was fired by the St. Louis Blues in February and replaced by Mike Yeo. Hired by St. Louis in November 2011, Hitchcock posted a 248-124-41 regular-season record and transformed the Blues into yearly contenders, reaching the Western Conference finals last season.

He is second in career wins for St. Louis, and his 781 career regular-season wins rank fourth in NHL history -- just one behind Al Arbour for third place.

"Ken Hitchcock is an established NHL coach that everyone here in Dallas is familiar with, and we couldn't be happier to welcome him back to the organization," Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said. "A proven winner, Hitchcock knows exactly what it takes to be successful in this league and he is the perfect fit for what this team needs."

Hitchcock has also coached the Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets. He has worked with multiple national teams for Canada, including coaching the 2008 world championship squad to the silver medal. He has been an assistant coach for Team Canada in five Olympics, winning gold medals in 2002, 2010 and 2014.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.