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Jim Nill Keeping His Options Open

Tuesday, 05.14.2013 / 8:03 PM / News
By Mark Stepneski
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Jim Nill Keeping His Options Open

Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill said he’ll keep all his options open and be patient as he begins the search for a new head coach.

“We’re going to look at every option available,” said Nill.

The Dallas GM said he won’t limit his list of candidates to those with NHL head coaching experience.

“I am going to be wide open,” said Nill. “As we’ve seen, there are some great young coaches come in and do great things with teams. I need to be wide open to that aspect.”

There’s no time frame because hockey is still being played in the NHL, minor leagues and overseas at the World Championship. But he will get the ball rolling soon.

“We have a list of names and I will start interviewing coaches over the next week to ten days and we’ll go from there,” he said. “It’s like anything in business, you’ll know when the right fit is there. We’ll start the search process and go from there.”

The Stars are in the market for a new head coach after Glen Gulutzan was dismissed after two seasons behind the bench in Dallas. Nill announced Tuesday that Gulutzan and assistant Paul Jerrard would not be back next season. Gulutzan posted a 64-57-9 (.527) record and missed the playoffs in both 2011-12 and 2012-13. Nill spent two weeks making a decision on the coaching staff, meeting with Gulutzan five or six times and talking with others in the organization.

“I’m coming from the outside. I don’t know them at all and I wanted to go through the process. I needed to get to know them,” Nill said. “Unfortunately, we are in a results-oriented business and the results haven’t been here. We just decided we had to make some changes.”

Assistant coach Curt Fraser and goaltending coach Mike Valley will remain with the team.

“Mike does a great job. I had a talk with Kari Lehtonen, he has a great relationship with him. He’s done a great job. That’s something we want to move forward with. He’s done a good job with our younger goalies,” Nill said. “I know Curt going back to the Detroit days. I have a strong rapport with him. I know he’s a real good assistant coach and I look forward to working with him down the road.”

For now, the focus is on finding a new head coach. Nill said his search will include those already within the organization. Texas Stars coach Willie Desjardins will be in the mix.

“Willie is definitely going to be one of those people, but they are still playing. He’s done a great job down there, coach of the year. He’s definitely going to get consideration,” Nill said. “I think it’s important anytime you go anywhere to look internally first and he’s definitely going to be one of the people on the list.”

Nill said he’ll also gauge Fraser’s interest in the job.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to Curt yet,” he said. “We haven’t discussed that. I went through this process and that will be my next step.”

Nill said there could be candidates who become available when their contracts expire at the end of this season, so while he’d like to find a new head coach sooner rather than later, he’ll do what he needs to do to find the right fit.

“The sooner the better, but the best person for the job and if that takes time then we’re going to wait and see,” Nill said. “There’s a still lot of hockey going on right now. There’s World Championships, Stanley Cup playoffs, minor leagues are still operating. We’re going to look at all situations. Some guys’ contracts might be up. We want to be open to all situations.”

SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 47 31 10 6 139 124 68
2 NSH 45 30 10 5 137 104 65
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 48 26 14 8 135 117 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 45 26 16 3 124 114 55
8 CGY 47 25 19 3 136 125 53
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 48 20 18 10 125 137 50
11 DAL 46 21 18 7 144 151 49
12 MIN 46 20 20 6 128 137 46
13 ARI 46 16 25 5 105 156 37
14 EDM 47 12 26 9 109 158 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Seguin 46 28 24 1 52
J. Benn 46 13 27 -3 40
J. Spezza 46 8 26 -4 34
E. Cole 44 12 11 3 23
A. Goligoski 46 1 22 6 23
A. Roussel 46 11 11 -2 22
T. Daley 43 11 10 -9 21
C. Eakin 43 9 12 6 21
A. Hemsky 43 7 11 -5 18
J. Klingberg 32 6 12 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 19 10 7 .904 2.98
A. Lindback 2 7 0 .875 3.79
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