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Associated Press
11/14/2006 11:11:41 PM


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Columbus Blue Jackets' hunt for a new coach is on a fast track that may lead them to Ken Hitchcock, who was fired as Philadelphia Flyers coach last month.

Blue Jackets president and general manager Doug MacLean received permission from the Flyers to interview Hitchcock, the veteran coach confirmed on Tuesday night.

''My understanding is that Columbus has asked for permission from the Flyers and that they have given it,'' Hitchcock said. ''But no one from the Blue Jackets has talked to me.''

Columbus announced earlier in the day that assistant Gary Agnew would serve as interim head coach after the firing of Gerard Gallant a day earlier. Team president and general manager Doug MacLean did not immediately return a phone message.

MacLean said earlier that he expected team owner John H. McConnell and son John P. McConnell to hire a permanent coach ''fairly quick.''

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