Welcome back to Big D Ken Hitchcock. We’ve missed you round these parts for the last, oh I don’t know, 15 years or so. We’ve missed those hockey glory days of deep runs into the Stanley Cup playoffs, and those Finals appearances. We’ve missed the excitement of a standing room only Reunion Arena, Brett Hull one-timers, and Derian Hatcher crushing hits. We’ve missed the way you said Mike Mo-daa-no with that Canadian accent. And most of all we’ve missed our Stars being relevant on the DFW sports landscape.
Well miss it no more Stars fans – the big man has returned and he’s bringing some of his pals with him. They always say you can’t turn back time, that you can’t relive the past. Well the Stars obviously don’t put much faith in any of that nonsense. “Open up that time machine and keep the fingers crossed” is their new motto.
The Feathered Bull has learned from trusted sources inside Frisco’s Dr Pepper StarCenter that the big man is putting the band back together. It was announced last week that Rick Wilson is returning to Hitch’s bench to coach the D-men, and our sources tell us he’s not the only one coming home. Hitch has been busy burning up the phone lines recently, reaching out to not only Hull, Hatcher and Modano, but also Craig Ludwig and Ed Belfour.
But hold on there son, Hitch hasn’t been offering coaching positions to our former heroes, or jobs in the scouting department. No, Hitch has asked the “boys” to to lace up their AARP skates for one more run at glory and Lord Stanley’s Cup.
“Listen,” said Hitchcock, “I’m 65 years old now, not the young buck I was last time through here. I’m here for the quickest fix I can find and that means bringing in guys I know and trust.”
Ludwig, who moved into the Stars broadcast booth alongside Daryl Reaugh last season said he was more then a little shocked when Hitchcock approached him with the idea of returning to the ice. “Hitch called me up and started talking ’99 memories and asking about the best new pizza joints in town,” said the 56-year-old Ludwig. “Next thing I know he’s saying that ‘it’s great and all’ that the team acquired Marc Methot (from the Las Vegas Golden Knights), but he needed some more ‘defense first, stay-at-home blue-liners’ to fill out his roster. So he rang up me and Hatch”
“I told him I was at every game anyway last year,”, continued Ludwig, “so I might as well get some exercise while I’m at the arena. Plus I think it will be cool for my grandkids to see their Papaw on the ice.”
Hull, 52, who we reached at his summer home in Idaho, has been a member of the St. Louis Blues’ front office the last few years, but told The Feathered Bull, “I’m good to go as well. I may need to drop a ‘couple pounds’ but the one-timer should still be there. I just probably won’t focus as much on defense this time around so I can conserve my energy.”
Belfour, also 52, will put his distillery plans on hold for a year as he starts preparing for the season. “Forty or fifty games is probably a realistic number for me to start this year,” said the Eagle, who never lacked for confidence. “And of course all playoff games. I hope that Bishop (Stars new goalie Ben Bishop) is OK with being a backup.”
Modano, the youngster of the bunch at 47, spends most of his time playing dad to his three little ones in Arizona. “I’m most looking forward to the road trips so I can get some rest,” said Modano. “Oh, and also watching grown-up movies on the flights – no PJ Masks or Sofia the First please.”
The Stars for their part have started installing in-bench oxygen tanks for their home games at the AAC and have made sure the late-night charter flights home won’t be serving spicy food any more. Rumor also has it the corporate sales department is close to finalizing six-figure deals with Geritol, Grecian Formula and Viagra. Now just keep the fingers crossed the old-timers can stay healthy. After all, broken hips take a long time to heal.