Marc Crawford on Thursday was named as the Stars new head coach. He becomes the 20th head coach in Stars franchise history and the 5th specifically with the Dallas Stars.
Stars fans of course are very familiar with him and his previous coaching gigs with western conference rivals in Colorado, Vancouver and Los Angeles. But just what else does he bring to the Stars coaching table?
Follow the jump for the story on the man known (at least with Vancouver fans) as 'Crow':
- Born Feb. 13, 1961 in Bellville, Ontario.
- A former left winer who played for three seasons with the Cornwall Royals junior hockey team of the QMJHL
- Drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the 4th round of the 1980 NHL draft
- Started his pro playing career with the Dallas Black Hawks of the CHL in 1981 before joining the Canucks in time for their 1982 Stanley Cup run that ended in a final series loss to the New York Islanders.
- Was frequently flipped back and forth between the NHL Canucks and their AHL affiliate Fredericton Express through his career until he retired in the summer of 1989 finishing with 176 games played as an NHLer with 19 goals and 50 points and 229 penalty minutes.
- Upon retirement as a player, immediately joined his old junior team in Cornwall as that team's head coach for two seasons compiling a record of 47 wins, 80 losses and 5 ties.
- Was hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs organization in 1991 to coach their AHL affiliate in St. John's Newfoundland. In three seasons he gathered a record of 125 wins, 78 losses and 37 ties. He coached the "Baby Leafs" to a trip into the AHL finals in 1992 and the following season was given the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL's top coach.
- Hired by the Quebec Nordiques to be their head coach in 1994 and instantly took a team that had missed the playoff the previous year and coached them to first place in the Adams division. The following year they moved to Colorado and became the Avalanche where Crawford would lead the team to a Stanley Cup. He was awarded the Jack Adams trophy as the NHL's top head coach in that same season. During his three seasons with the Avalanche he gathered a record of 165 wins, 88 losses and 41 ties. He resigned in the summer of 1998 saying it was time to move on.
- Halfway through the 98-99 season was hired by the Vancouver Canucks.He coached six and a half seasons picking up a record of 246 wins, 189 losses, 62 ties and 32 overtime losses. He helped get the Canucks into the playoffs in four of those seven seasons he had been a coach, but only got past the first round one time in 2003. He was fired after the Canucks suffered a stunning first round series loss to the 8th seeded Calgary Flames in 2004 followed by missing the playoffs entirely in 2006. The 2004 playoffs was the last time he coached there and has a career NHL playoff coaching record of 43 and 40
- Hired by the Los Angeles Kings in the summer of 2006 to help coach a rebuilding club that was very young team but loaded with potential. The overflow of youth and inexperience wasn't a good fit for Crawford who mainly relies on a solid mix of youth and veteran leadership. In his two full seasons with the Kings he picked up 59 wins, 84 losses and 21 overtime losses. His clubs missed the playoffs both years but his dismissal from the Kings was seen as a bit of a surprise for a team not expected to be playoff contenders in either season.
Marc is also not without his share of controversy... In 1998 he was picked to be the head coach for Team Canada's entry into the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Canada (a team by the way Nieuwendyk was part of) ended up losing in the semi-final to the Czech Republic in a shootout where Crawford came under fire from media and fans when decided to not use the likes of Wayne Gretzky or Steve Yzerman in that shootout.
A few years later he was a central figure in the Tood Bertuzzi / Steve Moore incident with Bertuzzi alleging that Crawford set him out onto the ice at that point in the game with a direct order to take Moore out by any means necessary. Crawford has denied that level involvement and no proof has been found that Crawford directed Bertuzzi's actions that night.
Crawford has been known to favor coaching a team balanced with both veteran players and young talent. His coaching focus usually is on the offensive side of things with a certain amount of defensive responsibility and in both Colorado and Vancouver coached teams that were known for explosive offensive abilities.
Crawford is also known for having an explosive personality as well. His fire and brimstone approach with his players is a stark contrast to the spoonful of sugar personality that Dave Tippett had. Crawford will push the Stars playmaking forwards to do more with the puck and create chances. He will also look for his Stars defensemen to move the puck forward with more force than they have in years past.
It's also interesting to note that Brendan Morrison had his best years in Vancouver under Crawford's watch, so one could assume that the chance that Morrison resigns with Dallas even at a cut rate has increased.