Jim Nill has made his first major move since being hired as the Dallas Stars general manager on April 29.
The Stars fired head coach Glen Gulutzan and assistant coach Paul Jerrard on Tuesday. Gulutzan missed the playoffs in both of his two seasons behind the bench and posted a 64-57-9 record in those two seasons.
After Dallas relieved GM Joe Nieuwendyk of his duties back in April, it was just a matter of time before the Stars decided to go in a different direction with the coaching staff.
So who is on tap to become the Stars next head coach? Well, let’s look at the big names that are out there.
Ruff was fired by the Buffalo Sabres this season after coaching them for the last 17 seasons. He the won Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 2006. He led the Sabres to a Presidents Trophy in 06-07 and a Stanley Cup Finals in 98-99. While Ruff has an impressive résumé, it would be hard to believe he would get behind the Dallas Stars bench after the whole Brett Hull foot in the crease goal that cost the Sabres the Stanley Cup in 98-99.
Tippet is not under contract for the next season. Tippett enjoyed success in Dallas throughout the 2000’s before the Stars fired him in 2009. He spent the last four seasons in Phoenix making the playoffs three times making it to the conference finals last year. Dallas could look to bring his defensive systems back to the lone star state.
Fraser is probably one of the top candidates to replace Gulutzan behind the bench. Nill knows Fraser very well from their days with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL where Fraser was the head coach. He has was the first ever coach of the Atlanta Thrashers and had an unsuccessful four seasons behind the bench.
Desjardins is currently the head coach of the Texas Stars, Dallas’s Affiliate. He led the team to the best record in the Western Conference this year and won coach of the year along with it. Desjardins knows the organization being with the Stars since 2010. It’s hard not to believe he is not at the top of the list.
Boucher is probably one of the biggest names on the coaching market. He led the Tampa Bay Lighting to 103 points in his first season, but eventually losing in game seven of the conference finals in 2011. Since then Boucher failed to make the playoffs and was fired after 31 games in 2013.