Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Around the League: Looking for Coaches and Free Agents

New Dallas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan with GM Joe Nieuwendyk on Monday at his introductory press conference in Frisco, Texas. (Credit: Dallas Stars)

Here we go:
  • The biggest news around the league at the moment is the hiring of several AHL head coaches for the same job in the NHL. Kevin Dineen started the party this year, moving from the Portland Pirates to the Florida Panthers. Coaches Gulutzan and Yeo followed last week, moving to Dallas and Minnesota respectively.

  • Some less than informed parties have pointed to the hiring of Gulutzan as a cost-savings measure by Dallas given their ownership situation. Mike Heika sets them straight. [Five for Fighting]

  • What's next for the Texas Stars coaching staff? Assistant coach Paul Jerrard has to be in pole position to be the next head coach of the Texas Stars, but no one is in a huge rush. Texas GM Scott White:
    "The market is pretty wide open. There's three American League jobs open [Ed. note: TEX, HOU and POR] and many assistant coach's jobs in the NHL. So who knows how it's all going to play out. We have an idea. Will we execute? It's hard to say. I'd say it's 50/50 if we have something in a couple weeks, hopefully we do. It's a good opportunity, and we're going to hire the right candidate, whoever that may be."

  • WBS Penguins beat writer Jonathan Bombuile has put together a list of the top 200 free agents with significant time in the AHL last season. Not all of these players are AHL contracted. Asterisks mark those who are. Players from Texas on the list include Segal (42), Lukowich (83), Rallo (97), Gagnon (112), Sawada (116) and Trevor Ludwig (151). [Penguins Insider]

  • It would be nice for the Stars to pick up some AHL scoring talent up front off the above list. A player like Colin McDonald (42-16-58 for OKC) would add a massive scoring punch. However, McDonald had three fair to middling seasons in Springfield before his breakout last year in Oklahoma. Is it an aberration or a new trend?

  • The next big event for hockey fans, especially in the AHL, is the NHL Entry Draft on Friday. Dallas picks 14th. Since players are drafted when they are 18, it generally takes a few years before they reach the AHL. For example, Scott Glennie, 2009's first round pick, will be a regular skater for Texas starting next year. File this one under "future watch".

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