ST. LOUIS – One of the Winter Classic’s most underrated traditions are the fancy hats some coaches decide to wear. From Claude Julien to Mike Babcock to … well, Mike Babcock, the outdoor games have featured fabulous chapeaus.
Joining that fraternity this year was Ken Hitchcock, who wore a stylish hat as his St. Louis Blues defeated the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1, in the 2017 Winter Classic at Busch Stadium on January 2.
“I didn’t choose it. The boys over at Levine chose it for me. I was told that was the best place to go and get one,” said Hitchcock.
Michael Fowler of Levine Hat Co. in St. Louis said that Hitchcock came into their shop last week in preparation for the Classic.
— Michael Fowler (@LevineHat_Mike) January 2, 2017
Hitchcock said his first suggestion was rejected.
“The guy suggested a sombrero, and I told the guy that I’m round enough as it is,” he said.
“So we settled on a navy fedora, Stetson style.”
There was only one more hurdle before Hitchcock would wear the hat at the Classic – getting his players’ approval. So he held a vote in the locker room before the game.
“If they would have voted ‘no’ I wouldn’t have worn it. But they voted yes,” he said. “They needed a laugh before the game.”
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