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Barnes Enjoys Coaching

Friday, 05.8.2009 / 10:12 AM CT / Feature
By Ken Sins
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Barnes Enjoys Coaching

Stars fans who were clamoring for Stu Barnes to come out of retirement and give the team's struggling penalty-killing unit a lift late last season will be disappointed to learn that Barnes never gave it a thought.

"It wasn't even a consideration,'' Barnes was saying the other day.

Barnes will remain retired, unwilling to risk another knock to the head.

A concussion sustained during the 2008 playoffs led Barnes to coaching. The blow to the head on April 30 forced him to miss the final nine games of the Stars' remarkable 2008 postseason run.

After considering his options over the summer, he signed a two-year deal to join the Dallas coaching staff in late August of 2008. He and his family enjoy living in Plano, and Barnes felt he absorbed enough about the coaching business during his first year to merit a second season.

"For me it was just learning,'' Barnes said. "If I helped some players a little, who knows. The fortunate thing is we've got a good group of coaches and players who helped along the way. Hopefully I'll be better at what I do.''

In 16 NHL seasons, Barnes amassed 597 points (261 goals, 336 assists) in 1,136 games with the Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres and the Stars.

He also skated in 116 Stanley Cup playoff games over 12 postseasons, recording 30 goals and 32 assists. He reached the Finals twice, with Buffalo in 1999 when he lost to the Stars, and with Florida in 1996, falling to Colorado.

In one of the franchise's best trades, the Stars acquired Barnes from the Sabres on March 10, 2003 for Mike Ryan and a second-round draft choice. In 329 games for Dallas, Barnes had 53 goals and 67 assists, and added 14 points in 38 playoff games for the Stars.

Beyond the numbers, the native of Spruce Grove, Alberta was best known for his penalty killing and his smarts. 

Toward the end of his career, Barnes was considered a coach-on-the-ice. Now he is imparting that hockey sense to the Stars' younger players.

"It was good,'' Barnes said of his first season as a coach. "Who knows how it's going to go your first year out of the game and taking on something like this, but it was an interesting year, I learned a lot. Everybody was very helpful and allowed me to learn.''

With the team struggling on the ice, Barnes admits that for a fleeting second, he entertains thoughts of lacing on the skates. But reality soon takes over.

"You always think you want to help any way you can, especially being a player for so long,'' he said. "You always have that in your nature that you want to help immediately. But sooner or later the playing side comes to an end and it was this year.''

So he'll be back for another coaching stint as the Stars attempt to rebound from a disappointing season, missing the playoffs for only the second time in the last 12 years.

"We'll keep going with this for a while and see how it goes,'' he said. "My approach going in was to give it a try and see what I thought of it and learn as much as I can and go from there. Coaching is no different than playing. It's more fun when you win. That's what we wanted to do and what we're trying to figure out how to do it.''



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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 13 5 10 2 15
J. Spezza 13 5 8 0 13
C. Eakin 13 1 7 -4 8
A. Goligoski 13 4 3 -6 7
P. Sharp 13 4 2 -4 6
P. Eaves 9 3 3 3 6
R. Faksa 13 3 2 2 5
M. Janmark 12 2 3 -3 5
C. Sceviour 11 2 3 1 5
J. Klingberg 13 1 3 -5 4
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 6 3 0 .899 2.81
A. Niemi 1 3 2 .865 3.29
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