Some quick thoughts and observations from today's press conference: Joe Nieuwendyk was extremely hesitant to say why Dave Tippett was fired, other than saying that he felt the team needed to go in a new direction. He refused to compare the coaching styles between Crawford and Tippett and did not want to get into what Crawford will do better that Tippett could not. While some have blasted Nieuwendyk for the decision to fire Tippett, I thought that he handled himself very well when it came to talking about the former coach.
Marc Crawford is a veteran of handling the press, and did a good job of not revealing what he thinks the weaknesses of this team are and how he can improve them. He made sure everyone knew how much respect he has for Tippett and the job he's done, and how strong this team already is.
Here are some key quotes from today's Dallas Stars press conference that announced the hiring of Marc Crawford:
"Today is about looking ahead and moving forward. Together with people whose opinions I respect, I evaluated the strengths and shortcomings of our team as a whole. Then evaluated who, as a head coach, would be best at helping us reach those goals. It became clear to me through this process that Marc Crawford was that coach."
On choosing Crawford:
"We went through an extensive process of evaluation, talking through many areas of the organization and evaluating where we were as a club and we believe that Marc has the qualities that we need moving forward. I talked to several former players of Marc's, such as Joe Sakic, Mike Keane and Trevor Linden and they all spoke very highly of Marc.
"I did not speak to any current Stars players because I don't think any of them have ever played for Marc before."
More quotes from Marc Crawford and Tom Hicks after the jump.
"I'm very enthusiastic about this great opportunity that has been afforded to me today. Not too long ago, the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup and I know that talking to Mr. Hicks that this organization is striving to be very best they can be, and you feel that immediately that the Stars are committed to that goal.
"I'm following in the footsteps of some great people that I respect. I am thrilled about the chance to work with Joe, and I can't speak enough about how excited I am to work with him and this organization. There is a great group of players here and from all the things that I have heard they are very disappointed in the way things finished last year. That's very similar to myself: I'm not satisfied with my last stop in the National Hockey League either."
On the current players on the team:
"I think that what impresses me so much about the Stars is the tremendous core values that team already has in place. They have a great foundation of habits that I will continue to build upon. You don't lose the strengths of previous coaches and previous regimes, there's still a part of Bob Gainey, still a big part of Ken Hitchcock and huge part of Dave Tippett still with this team and my job will be to add to that moving forward. I'm confident that the strengths I'm going to bring to the team are going to help the Dallas Stars."
On what he brings the team:
"I believe that a team's identity comes comes from the players and not from the coach. Players win championships and coaches set structure and try to motivate every now and then. If you look at the players that have won Stanley Cups, you see certain players that are identified with leading a championship team. The strengths that I have are determined by the talent that is in front of me. I have some notions about the Stars, but the more I get to know them the more I can understand the strengths of the individual players and go about building upon that and make the adjustments needed. We won't be vastly different from the way we were before; this team already has a strong set of core fundamentals. If you watch the two teams that are playing right now in the Stanley Cup Finals, you see two teams that play an exciting brand of hockey. It's a lot about skating, it's about speed, it's a lot about pace and it's a lot about tempo and those are the main facets that have been a part of every team that I've coached. You really do have to look at your team and adjust to the people you have, however."
"This is all about returning the Stars to a Championship level organization. After speaking with Marc this morning. I can see why Joe has made the decision he has made and I fully support it. For our team, and where we're going at this time, I'm very excited about having Marc Crawford as our coach."