In case you missed it yesterday, Ken Hitchcock announced his retirement from the NHL:
Hitchcock’s second stint with the Dallas Stars was brief, lasting only one season, and now Stars General Manager Jim Nill is tasked with hiring his third head coach in just six years. And Nill is going to keep all options open:
“I want to be pretty open-minded about this,” Nill said. “You’re seeing some successful young coaches come in and some successful coaches out there that have some great resumes.”
When asked, Nill clarified that the right candidate doesn’t need to have NHL head coaching experience, but they do need to have experience as a head coach at some level. That leaves a lengthy list with minor league, college, and junior coaches.
The team will also consider coaches who are already within the organization, or who are currently working for a playoff team:
Nill also said there wasn’t a set timeline for the hire, he’s willing to be patient on that front with so many candidates still coaching in the postseason. Nill also said he’s going to take a look internally, meaning that there will be conversations with the Stars’ current NHL assistant coaches and AHL head coach Derek Laxdal.
You can read more about the coaching search as well as some possible coaching candidates in Sean Shapiro’s piece here.
Mike Heika also takes a look at some of the top names on the market:
Jared Clinton breaks down even more potential candidates, including a few “off the wall” choices: [The Hockey News]
More Stars News
Scott Burnside, now writing about the NHL for The Athletic, reflects on what it was like to spend time with Ken Hitchcock in his final season:
Needless to say, Hitchcock was well respected by the hockey community. Here are some of the reactions across the league to Hitchcock’s retirement: [SportsDay DFW]
Something not about Hitchcock’s retirement, but still related to the coach — Sean Shapiro decided to break down how Stars defensemen exited the zone this past year. [The Athletic]
And in news completely unrelated to Hitchcock, the Texas Stars beat their in-state rivals, the San Antonio Rampage, 4-2 last night:
Around the League
Every series has its Game One out of the way, and three finished their second last night:
- After getting embarrassed by the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-0 in the first game, the Philadelphia Flyers tied the series up with a 5-1 win. [Broad Street Hockey]
- Meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings went all the way to double overtime, where the Golden Knights prevailed 2-1. [Knights on Ice]
- Finally, the Winnipeg Jets took full advantage of home ice, gaining a 2-0 series lead against the Minnesota Wild with a 4-1 victory. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
Speaking of the Jets, here’s an inside look at one of the coolest traditions in playoff hockey:
The NHL has suspended Nazem Kadri for three games for his dangerous hit on Tommy Wingels:
Toronto’s Nazem Kadri suspended three games for boarding Boston’s Tommy Wingels. https://t.co/YKyNt1Kcu0— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) April 13, 2018
Why do so many GMs still have jobs despite their teams having bad seasons? Greg Wyshnyski gives several potential reasons in his Weekly Reader. [ESPN]
Finally, let’s look back at the perfect example of why both teams can win a trade (and why we should have way more one-for-one trades in the league):