Dallas Stars Coaching Candidates: Guy Carbonneau

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Age: 51
Playing career: 1980 - 2000
Coaching career: 2006-2009 (NHL), 2011 (QMJHL)

Playing career: Perhaps one of the best true defensive forwards to ever step onto the ice in the NHL, Carbonneau is one of the most beloved players not just in Montreal Candiens history but in Dallas Stars history as well. Playing between the AHL and the NHL until 1982, Carbonneau became a prolific defensive forward for the Canadiens in 1983, helping his team win the Stanley Cup in 1986. 

After winning the Selke Trophy in 1988, 1989 and 1992, Carbonneau would captain the Canadiens to yet another Cup win in 1993. His goal scoring suffering later in his career, Carbonneau would be traded to St. Louis in 1994 before signing with Dallas in 1995. He would finish his career in Dallas in 2000, but not before having won another Stanley Cup in 1999. He never scored much in Dallas but personified the hard-working, defensive style that the Stars were known for and was instantly a fan favorite. He would retire in 2000.

Coaching career: Carbonneau served as assistant coach to Michel Therrien with the Canadiens from 2000 to 2002, and was the assistant general manager for the Dallas Stars from 2002 to 2006. In 2006, he became the assistant coach under Claude Julien before being named head coach after the 2005-2006 season. His Canadiens team would put together a magical season in 2007-08, winning the Northeast division and finishing with 104 points. Following a first round victory over Boston, the Canadiens would lose to the Flyers in the second round. 

Despite being named a finalist in 2008 for the Jack Adams Trophy, he would last just 66 games in in 2008-09 when he was fired before the end of the season by GM Bob Gainey. Carbonneau would bounce around various analyst jobs before becoming the head coach of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in February 2011.

How he fits: Carbonneau, aside from Joe Nieuwendyk and Mike Modano, is perhaps the most beloved of all former Dallas Stars players. His hard working style and defensive prowess set the example for how to win in the NHL and he was instrumental in making hockey so popular in North Texas. For the current Stars, a coach like Carbonneau would bring interest back to the sport -- especially from long-time fans -- and his approach would help solidify a team that has apparently forgotten exactly what defense might be at times over the course of the past few seasons.

Why he won't fit: His track record as a head coach is very short and not exactly glowing. He had one great season in Montreal but failed to make it through his third year as coach. Much like with Marc Crawford, there were rumblings that Carbonneau was unable to motivate them when adversity struck. When he was fired from Montreal, there were reports that stated his abrasive style had many in the Canadiens organization angry and that he had failed to connect with players on a very underachieving team.

His coaching style also fit his playing style: a strong focus on defense. With Nieuwendyk wanting to move the Stars into a more aggressive system, one that started with Crawford, it's doubtful that a coach like Carbonneau would be a good fit. There's also the fact that Carbonneau is now coaching a team he co-owns in Quebec; he might not be looking to be for another coaching job in the NHL right now anyway. Guy Carbonneau's name will likely always come up when a position opens for the Stars, but for now he'd be nothing but a nostalgic hire.

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