I think you can say that Ken Hitchcock is a smart guy.
You don't become a head coach for three separate teams, take all three to the playoffs, two deep in the playoffs, make the Finals more than once and win a Stanley Cup without being pretty bright. For an intelligent guy like Hitchcock, he sure likes to say "I don't know" a heck of a lot.
Sure, Hitchcock might be playing the new coach card as an easy out for not having an answer to a prying reporter's question, but his go to answer is a little more shrewd than that. Here, take a look at some of the more glaring uses of the ignorance excuse.
On Nov. 22, Hitchcock was explaining why Jaroslav Halak was getting the start in goal that night to Dan O'Neill of the Post-Dispatch.
"I just like the way he's playing," Hitchcock said. "I don't know much about goalies from a technical standpoint, but I like the way he's playing. He's aggressive, he's making big saves at the right time. In that third period (in Minnesota), when we had that five minute brain cramp, he made three big saves to keep us in the game. That's a good sign for us."
Hey, I don't know much about goalies either. But I've never been an NHL head coach. The day before that ran, Hitchcock was talking to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch about his strategy from the shootout in Minnesota. He said he used Kevin Shattenkirk in the skills competition because he was told he was good. Then he said this:
"I think we'll have tryouts," Hitchcock said. "I don't know these guys and I want to see what people can do. I want to start seeing what guys can do putting lunch or dinner on the line, so there's a little bit of pressure."
Now to me, that's not him saying these guys are strangers. He knows his team already. He's saying that guys will have to earn the chance to play in the shootout. It's a motivational tool, and I like it. Smart guy for not knowing a lot.
Here, Hitchcock discusses the boarding penalty and suspension to Chris Stewart in the Detroit game.
"But I think what scares everybody is the way he went into the boards. Whoa, boy! I don't know how it's ruled on. It's a hockey play. It's not a deliberate attempt to injure or anything like that. It's a hockey play that went a little wrong. You've got to figure out balance of responsibility, what percentages does each player bear? There's a mechanism in place for the protection of the players, and you've got to respect that."
There, he's putting it out there that the play looked bad, but it was just a hockey play. He's softening his criticism of the ruling when he says I don't know. He doesn't put that in there, he's potentially looking at a fine.
He even dropped one in his first press conference.
"I don't know why, but when I stand on the bench, the game is in slow motion," Hitchcock said. "I don't have any idea why. I talk to Scotty (Bowman) a lot about the way to do it and little mechanisms that we do on the bench. But the game is in slow motion for me."
I don't know why he says I don't know so much. Watch for it when he's talking to FSN before, during and after games. He drops it more than you think. What I do know is that James P. Loughrane, a guy on all the famous quotation websites, once said, "It is a sign of strength, not of weakness, to admit that you don't know all the answers."
Anything else you notice about Hitchcock...other than his pants size? Let us know, down below.