Stars Find Their Man
PHOTO CREDIT: Texas Stars
The Stars' management clearly was not happy with the job that Marc Crawford did in his two seasons behind the bench. After missing the playoffs during his tenure with lackluster efforts in big games this past season, management forced Crawford to pack his bags. The objective was to find success. The Stars' brass interviewed names like Ken Hitchcock, Kirk Muller and Peter Horacheck.
However, the Stars found their successful resume from within the organization. According to several sources, including Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, the Stars have promoted Texas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan to take over as the bench boss of the parent club.
I know what you're thinking. Glen who? That was my initial reaction, too.
The 39-year-old Gulutzan has been the coach of the Texas Stars for the past two years, and he led them to within two wins of the Calder Cup in his first season, and led the team to a second straight playoff appearance this past season. Before that, he coached the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL, leading his team to the playoffs in five of his six seasons behind the bench. In the 2007-08 season, the Wranglers came within two wins of the Kelly Cup.
The native of The Pas, Manitoba posted dynamic numbers in the WHL, IHL and WCHL as a centerman, but never made it to the big show. His understanding of the game is clear in his .634 career winning percentage behind the bench. The Stars are going to need a coach with a good game plan with the significant offensive drought that is to come for the team.
Brad Richards' rights continue to be up in the air with his No Trade Clause restricting the Stars from moving him for some sort of compensation. General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk has until July 1 to trade Richards' rights. With limited pieces, Gulutzan has a job in front of him to devise a game plan that will make this team successful.
Next up is the draft on June 24 in Minnesota! Stay tuned to The Checking Line for the latest NHL news and views! Follow me on Twitter (@jckuhns)!