Ken Hitchcock is back behind the bench coaching. Once again, Rick Nash will be among his key players.

A source close to Hitchcock told The Dispatch that he is expected to coach Team Canada at the World Championship in Slovakia, beginning April 29. An official announcement is pending.

The story was first reported by the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune.

Hitchcock, who coached the Blue Jackets from 2006-2010, will be reunited with Nash, who has represented his country in numerous international competitions.

Both were part of Canada's gold-medal winning team in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Hitchcock was an assistant on that squad just days after being fired as Blue Jackets coach on Feb. 2.

Hitchcock's contract with the Jackets, which pays him $1.33million per season, runs through next season. His name figures to surface as a candidate for NHL vacancies. Ottawa and Florida already have openings.

Hitchcock serves as a Jackets consultant, but the former Stanley Cup winner rarely has been used in that capacity. He coached the Blue Jackets to the franchise's only playoff appearance in 2009.