Michael Elwin "the Kitch" Kitchen (born February 1, 1956) is a Canadian former defenceman who most recently served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League. As of February 2016, Kitch has coached in over 2400 NHL games including playoffs. In 2012/2013 he assisted in coaching the Hawks to their longest winning streak without a loss.
Kitchen as an assistant coach for the Blackhawks
February 1, 1956|
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
New Jersey Devils
38th overall, 1976|
Kansas City Scouts
83rd overall, 1976|
He was selected in the third round of the 1976 NHL Amateur Draft, 38th overall, by the Kansas City Scouts. He was also taken in the seventh round of the 1976 WHA Amateur Draft, 83rd overall, by the Toronto Toros, although Kitchen ultimately chose to enter the NHL. Kitchen was born in Newmarket, Ontario, but grew up in Schomberg, Ontario.
Mike is well known for his charitable work and has used his day with the Stanley Cup to raise funds for Southlake Regional Health Centre and other local charities.
Kitchen is the older brother of Bill Kitchen, also a former hockey player.
A defensive defenceman, Kitchen played his amateur career with the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey Association, winning a Memorial Cup in 1975. He turned professional for the 1976–77 NHL season, serving a brief, 14-game apprenticeship Rhode Island Reds of the AHL, before making his NHL debut. Kitchen joined the Colorado Rockies in his first professional season, and spent his entire NHL career with the same franchise. The team moved to New Jersey after the 1981–82 NHL season, and Kitchen went on to play two more seasons for the New Jersey Devils. Kitchen was sent to the Maine Mariners of the AHL for the entire 1984–85 NHL season, and decided to retire following that season's conclusion.
Kitchen was hired as an assistant coach by the Newmarket Saints of the AHL for the 1988–89 season, and was subsequently hired for the same position by the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he spent eight seasons. He then left Toronto for the same position with the St. Louis Blues franchise, a position he held until his elevation to head coach halfway through the 2003–04 NHL season. The Blues struggled and were 9th place in the Western Conference when they fired Joel Quenneville and replaced him with Kitchen as head coach. However under Kitchen, they picked up their play and went 10–7–4 in the process to make the playoffs once again.
In the 2005–2006 NHL season, Mike Kitchen led a younger group of Blues to a 21–46–15 record. 2006–2007 started the same as the Blues stumbled out of the gate to a 7–17–4 mark. On December 11, 2006, after a seven-game losing streak, Kitchen was fired as head coach of the St. Louis Blues and replaced by former Los Angeles Kings head coach Andy Murray. Blues president John Davidson indicated that he would like Kitchen to remain with the organization in a different capacity.
At the end of that season, Kitchen left the Blues to become an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers in 2007. He stayed with the club through the 2009-2010 season. With that contract having expired, on July 12, 2010 Mike agreed to a contract with the Chicago Blackhawks which saw him reunited with head coach Joel Quenneville. Joel and Mike had coached together in St. Louis from 1998 - 2003, leading the Blues to a franchise record 114 points in 1999-2000 while winning the President’s Trophy.
The Hawks were fresh off their first Stanley Cup victory in 49 years. Since arriving, Kitchen helped the team win two more Stanley Cups, in 2012-2013 and in 2014-2015.
Kitchen was relieved of his duties with the Blackhawks, which focused on defense and the penalty kill, on April 24, 2017 following the team's second consecutive first-round playoff exit, this time against the Nashville Predators after a 4-0 sweep.
|Team||Year||Regular season||Post season|
|STL||2003–04||21||10||7||4||0||(91)||2nd in Central||Lost in first round|
|STL||2005–06||82||21||46||–||15||57||5th in Central||Missed playoffs|
|STL||2006–07||28||7||17||–||4||(81)||3rd in Central||(fired)|
- July 15, 1976 - Kitchen's rights transferred to Colorado after the franchise relocated
- June 30, 1982 - Kitchen's rights transferred to New Jersey after the franchise relocated
- 1975 - OMJHL First All-Star Team
- 1975 - Memorial Cup Tournament All-Star Team
- 2016 - Inducted into the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame