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DALLAS (AP) – Ken Hitchcock is back as coach of the Dallas Stars, more than 15 years after being fired by the team he took to its only Stanley Cup championship.

Hitchcock was re-introduced in Dallas on Thursday, less than a week after the Stars ended their season without making the playoffs.

Lindy Ruff’s four-year contract expired at the end of the season and wasn’t extended.

When Dallas fired Hitchcock in January 2002, he had won 277 of his 503 games over parts of seven seasons in his first NHL head-coaching job.

He led the Stars to five straight division titles, with consecutive Western Conference championships in 1999 and 2000.

They won the Stanley Cup in 1999 and went again in 2000, the only times Hitchcock or the Stars have played in the Stanley Cup Final.

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