Friday afternoon the Dallas Stars parted ways with defensive assistant coach Charlie Huddy, now it seems as though they have his replacement in Paul Jerrard, Glen Gulutzan's defensive coach in Cedar Park last year.
Jerrard was drafted by the North Stars in 1988 and played five games for them, though mostly had a minor league career. He has been an assistant coach with the Hershey Bears, and the Iowa Stars (then subsequently the Iowa Chops), so he has solid connections to the Stars organization throughout his career.
Gulutzan mentioned the hiring on News-8 this evening, though an official confirmation from the team is still forthcoming. TSN's draft coverage on Friday night mentioned that Jerrard would be hired by the Stars but confirmation never came from the team, but now it's believed to be true, straight from Coach Gulutzan himself.
Joe Nieuwendyk did not say one way or the other on his appearance with NBC-5's Newy Scruggs, though he did indicate that the Stars budget would exceed the official salary cap floor of about $48 million, which doesn't mean much without a number, but the thought that they can spend even a small amount above the floor is at least a little comforting.
We'll try to get video of those television appearances coming up this week and we'll have more on the budget, but in the mean time here's Gulutzan on the Jerrard hiring...
"We just brought on Paul Jerrard, who was with me in Austin for two years. I think when a head coach comes in he has to be comfortable. Willie Desjardins, who is staying on, and I have a past. We're both from Saskatchewan and I've known Willie for 15 years. He's got a lot of high pressured head coaching experience that I think will be valuable to me. He knows the guys that are here. He was here last year. It's just a matter of what we think dynamically in the coaching staff. It has to work like a team. There's got to be some synergy in that coaching staff and we thought bringing in Paul would help us in that regard."
It was thought that Jerrard would be a leading candidate to replace Gulutzan in Cedar Park, and now that Kirk Muller is out of the picture as well (to coach Nashville's AHL team), Joe Nieuwendyk has one more item on his busy schedule to complete in finding a new bench boss for the Texas Stars.