Depending on who you believe the Dallas Stars have either secretly found their next head coach and are waiting for the ownership situation to clear up to make an announcement, or they haven't even started looking yet and ownership is affecting that as well.
That's the difference between what we can only assume is a pretty erroneous report from the Montreal Gazette today and what Mike Heika reported in the Dallas Morning News and the Star-Telegram yesterday.
Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette writes this in a piece about Canadien's GM Pierre Gauthier:
But as proud as Gautier is, there will be changes next season and the first will be in the coaching staff. Gauthier ducked a question about assistant coach Kirk Muller, but he'll be moving to the Dallas Stars. His appointment as head coach is on hold while the team awaits a new group of owners. [MG]
That's pretty bold, decisive language, leaving no room for doubt or error. It's pretty "matter-of-fact". Pretty ho-hum.
The Dallas Stars are notoriously quiet about their big decisions. The firings of the two headed GM monster and Marc Crawford are examples...they just seem to come from out of nowhere. There's never any rumblings or rumors. They run a tight ship.
As with all things Dallas Stars, however, we turn to Mike Heika: Beacon of truth in the murky hockey interwebs. He reported yesterday that Joe Nieuwendyk has barely begun his coaching search and that they're still taking their time.
"We have a plan for the next couple of weeks, but we'll form our timeline for the coach search at that time. We really haven't even started yet." [Star Telegram]
That's what GM Joe told Mike. "Haven't even started yet." So once again the Stars fan is left with mixed reports and probable misinformation somewhere. Our advice is go with Heika's take, which is that they're taking their time, even if Mr. Pat Hickey does eventually prove right. After all, that yahoo in Chicago got Adam Burish's broken bone right weeks in advance, so strange things do happen and rumors circulate behind the scenes un-reported in the world of the Dallas (Stars) media.
Here is our coaching profile on Kirk Muller: Dallas Stars Coaching Candidates: Kirk Muller
One thing is certain: The NHL draft is less than two months away and May starts on Sunday. Ownership situation or not, facing the draft and draft prep without a clear direction with the head coach is something that just isn't done. "Taking their time" can't mean more than 4-6 weeks, one would think.