It's not exactly a surprise after the events of this morning, but our old lockout friend Renaud Lavoie of RDS in Canada is reporting via Twitter that Glen Gulutzan's team option will not be exercised for a third year.
That makes sense given the new direction the club will take. Getting (supposedly, hopefully) Jim Nill away from the Dertroit Red Wings where others have tried and failed before (like the Canadiens last summer) likely took more than just money. A man like that would likely desire autonomy, and the power to do what he likes if he's to be in control.
Naturally that would also include hiring his own head coach. It may also, just as logically, include evaluating all aspects of the current team, including its coach, and such a judgment (or announcement) wouldn't come until later in the week, officially.
Names you may hear in the coming weeks are Dallas Eakins (Toronto Marlies), Guy Carbonneau, Willie Desjardins, maybe even Darryl Sydor, and many others. Only Nill knows what he's thinking. So much will depend on his evaluation of the prospects the Stars have currently and what they think they can get moving forward via trade and free agency. What kind of coach is needed to mold the existing group into playoff contenders?
That will be the focus of much of our discussion moving forward here in this space, no doubt.
Meanwhile Stars owner Tom Gaglardi told Mike Heika that he offered Joe Nieuwendyk a place within the organization while relieving him of his general manager duties.
"I have a lot of admiration and respect for Joe Nieuwendyk, and I told him that," Gaglardi told the DMN. "I offed him an opportunity to stay in the organization in a capacity he would find fitting, and he told me he would think about it."
Concurrently in Colorado head coach Joe Sacco has been fired, VP of hockey operations Eric Lacroix has left the organization as well. The Stars and Avalanche will be division rivals starting next year with both looking to fight their way back into the lofty Western Conference positions they once enjoyed.
The pressure to compete with Chicago, St. Louis, and Minnesota is on. The arms race to hire the best coach and have the best possible start to a new era could begin soon.