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Stars taking a thorough approach to finding new coach

Monday, 06.10.2013 / 9:50 AM CT / News
By Mark Stepneski
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Stars taking a thorough approach to finding new coach

Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill said he is getting closer to hiring a new head coach, but he is in no rush to make a decision because he wants to be thorough with his search.

“It’s a process,” Nill said. “I’m hoping in the next couple of weeks that I can really get it narrowed down and make the final decision. “

Although he’d like it done by the NHL Draft, which is on June 30, don’t consider that a hard deadline.

“There’s no set deadline,” Nill said. “I’d like to have it done before the draft. It’d be nice. It’s nice to have your coach there during that. But I’m not going to rush into something that’s not going to make sense. I’m going to be careful that way.”

Nill is still conducting interviews. He had more scheduled for last week and there could be more ahead because the teams of some potential candidates are still playing.

“There are some guys still [going] and there are some guys whose teams have finished up and they’re still going through the process of exit interviews,” Nill said. “We’re just taking our time and waiting for things to happen.”

Nill won’t identify the candidates he has interviewed or those he might talk to down the road. He did indicate, though, that big name guys like Alain Vigneault, recently fired by Vancouver, and Lindy Ruff, fired by Buffalo during the season, are on the radar.

“Yeah, I’m not going to say out of respect for them who I’ve interviewed, but we are not leaving any leaves unturned, put it that way,” he said. “We’ve interviewed a lot of people and I’ve got more coming up. We’re looking at every angle, whether it’s a top NHL coach or the top guys down in the development leagues.”

While a lot of the attention surrounding Nill’s search has centered on those big name NHL coaches, there are some quality candidates in the minor leagues. On the day the Stars announced Glen Gulutzan had been relieved of his duties as Dallas coach, Nill said Texas Stars coach Willie Desjardins would get consideration for the opening.

When it comes to the difference between a veteran NHL coach and a top coach in the minors, Nill said there isn’t that wide a gap.

“No, there’s not. Where did Mike Babcock come from? He just didn’t fall from the sky and end up behind Detroit’s bench,” Nill said. “There’s some great coaches in the minors. Experience is important, yes. But these guys in the minors have gained a lot of experience too, maybe more than some NHL coaches. You start riding those busses and playing four games in five nights, how do you motivate a team? How do you prepare them? There’s some great young coaches in the minors too, so I’m not going to say I’ve got to have experience because those guys they’re experienced also. You’ve got to keep an open mind.”

The Stars aren’t alone in searching for a head coach. The New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks are in the market for new bench bosses as well. Nill realizes someone he is considering could be grabbed by another team, but he’s not going to panic and rush his decision because of that.

“Not really. There’s only so many teams there,” said Nill. “Now, I could wake up and two guys get signed, but that’s the business. I’m keeping in touch with the people we’re talking to and they’ve got a lot of interest in coming here also. We’re just going to stick with it and good things will happen.”

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
6 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
7 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
8 NSH 55 25 21 9 142 148 59
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
11 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 55 28 34 16 62
T. Seguin 55 28 32 11 60
J. Klingberg 55 10 36 14 46
J. Spezza 52 18 22 5 40
P. Sharp 55 16 24 -2 40
A. Goligoski 55 4 20 16 24
C. Eakin 55 10 13 0 23
M. Janmark 55 10 10 14 20
J. Demers 48 7 12 16 19
V. Nichushkin 52 6 13 7 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Niemi 20 10 5 .908 2.52
K. Lehtonen 15 5 0 .912 2.79
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