Texas Coaches Derek Laxdal, Karl Taylor Receive Contract Extensions

Coach Laxdal (foreground) and Coach Taylor (Credit: Texas Stars)
The Dallas Stars announced this morning that Derek Laxdal and Karl Taylor have both received contract extensions for the coming season. Head coach Laxdal and assistant coach Taylor are in their fourth season with Texas, making them the longest serving coaching staff in team history. Next season will be their fifth.

The pair has compiled a 139-102-27-10 record in four seasons to this point. However, the club has yet to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs and did not qualify last season for only the second time in team history.

Dallas, for its part, is extremely happy with the pipeline that Texas has provided in terms of player development. Eight different players currently in Dallas spent at least one season with Laxdal and Taylor in the AHL. Players like Jason Dickinson and Dillon Heatherington are knocking on the door of adding their names to that list. And surely, Denis Gurianov will also be in that conversation soon enough.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars Assistant General Manager and Texas Stars General Manager Scott White announced today the club has extended the contracts of their coaching staff in the American Hockey League (AHL). Head coach Derek Laxdal and assistant coach Karl Taylor will both return next season to lead Texas, Dallas' top development affiliate in the AHL.

Both coaches are currently in their fourth season with Texas and together have compiled a career record of 139-102-27-10 (.567 pct.) during their tenure. Texas has also qualified for the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs twice in its first three seasons under Laxdal and Taylor. The club is currently in a playoff spot this season, sitting third in the Pacific Division with a 25-18-5-2 record through 50 games played.

“Derek and Karl have done a tremendous job of preparing and developing our group during their time in Texas,” said White. “They give our Texas team a great chance to win each and every night, as well as helping us in Dallas by providing players that can contribute at the NHL level.”

Eight of the players currently on the Dallas roster spent at least a season playing under Laxdal and Taylor including Remi Elie, Radek Faksa, Julius Honka, Stephen Johns, Esa Lindell, Brett Ritchie, Devin Shore, and Gemel Smith.

Laxdal was named the fourth head coach in Texas Stars history on July 3, 2014. He joined the Stars organization after concluding a four-year stretch (2010-2014) as head coach of the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings, highlighted by winning the 2014 Memorial Cup as Canadian Hockey League champions. During his final campaign in Edmonton, Laxdal guided his team to a 50-19-3 record and in his four seasons coaching the Oil Kings, Laxdal achieved three 50-win seasons and finished with an overall record of 182-83-23 (.671 pct.).

Taylor was named the assistant coach of the Texas Stars after completing a successful run with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. In his only season as an assistant with the Winterhawks, Taylor helped guide the team to a 54-13-5 record and finished second overall in the WHL. Joining the Stars organization marked a return to the American Hockey League for Taylor, who also served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Wolves in 2011-12.