Jim Nill could have picked anyone from an extensive list of experienced out-of-work NHL coaches to fill the Dallas Stars‘ vacancy.
Darryl Sutter has won the Stanley Cup twice Dorance Armstrong Jr. Jersey , Dan Bylsma once, Alain Vigneault has made the Final twice and Dave Tippett is widely considered one of the best in hockey. Any of them could’ve been a nice fit, but the Stars general manger wanted to be comprehensive in his search.
”The game is changing, life changes, and we wanted to make sure that we didn’t forget somebody,” Nill said. ”Let’s not leave anything Pat McAfee Jersey , any leaf unturned, every door open, let’s look at every candidate.”
Dallas decided last week on University of Denver coach Jim Montgomery to replace franchise legend Ken Hitchcock, who returned for one season almost two decades after leading the Stars to the Cup. Nill’s front office is far from the only one looking outside the box to college, junior and Europe for coaching candidates, a trend that could lead to far more teams going beyond retreads with the hope of finding the next great mind behind the bench.
”It’s more kind of an evolution of the game itself Jared Veldheer Jersey ,” said Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol, who was hired out of the University of North Dakota in the summer of 2015 and has gotten the Flyers to the playoffs twice in three seasons. ”There are so many good people coaching at different levels. For a lot of years it seems that maybe the college-coaching level was maybe bypassed for some of the opportunities. But I think when you look at the quality of coaching in the college game today … there’s some real talented people.”
Before Hakstol and Montgomery, it had been since Herb Brooks in 1987 and Bob Johnson in 1982 that a coach went from the NCAA ranks directly to the NHL. Outside of now-San Jose’s Peter DeBoer and ex-Pittsburgh coach Mike Johnston, junior hockey hasn’t funneled many straight to the NHL, and there have only been two European-born head coaches: Ivan Hlinka and Alpo Suhonen in the early 2000s.
It’s far more common for teams to mine the American Hockey League and NHL staffs for head jobs, and that’s usually a necessary step. Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper came from the United States Hockey League but spent time in the AHL before the Lightning elevated him Daeshon Hall Jersey , and longtime Quebec Major Junior Hockey League coach Benoit Groulx is on the same path now with the NHL in his near future.
Buffalo’s Phil Housley got some experience as the U.S. world junior coach but went right from high school hockey to being an assistant in Nashville. And Rod Brind’Amour spent seven seasons as an assistant after his playing days were over before being named Carolina’s coach on Tuesday.
Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said Brind’Amour’s ”fresh ideas, ability to motivate and understanding of what it takes to bring a championship” to Carolina set him apart. As the New York Rangers look to fill their job after firing Vigneault and other openings come up in the next few offseasons, there will be plenty of fresh coaches to choose from.
Boston University’s David Quinn has been linked to the Rangers but will stay at least one more year and run the U.S. world junior team before likely being the next to graduate from college to the NHL. Sweden national coach Rikard Gronborg might also be in the mix sooner than later.
”I’ve kind of done all that stuff and coached some of the best players in the world,” Gronborg told Sportsnet recently. ”Now I’m interested to have my ideas, to (implement) them over a period of time and do them overseas, and kind of challenging the coaching community over in the NHL. I bring a different perspective on things.”
Germany national coach Marco Sturm also brings a different perspective after playing 14 NHL seasons and leading an unheralded team to capture the silver medal at the most recent Olympics. Sturm would like to coach in the NHL but said: ”I’m only 39 years old Josh Lambo Jersey , I’ve still got time and I’m still learning and I want to learn and we’ll see what the future presents.”
With an eye on the future, Nill looked at the present success of young coaches like Cooper and New Jersey’s John Hynes and widened his net. It ended with Montgomery and perhaps a new thought process from Nill on how to go through coaching searches.
”Once we went through this process, I just think … who was Scott Bowman? Someone gave him a chance,” Nill said. ”Who was Mike Babcock? Somebody gave him a chance. This is a guy that he deserves a chance.”
AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Dallas contributed.
A few WWE performers stopped by the Bills facility for a workout.
A look at the Dolphins cornerback group.
What does rookie Sony Michel bring to the Patriots running back corps?
LB Avery Williamson should have a big role for the Jets.
Breaking down the Ravens defensive line.
Former Bengals LB Andre Frazier has moved into construction.
How will the Browns line up at linebacker?
Do the Steelers have RB Le'Veon Bell‘s replacement on their roster?
The Texans will try to build a cohesive secondary this summer.
The Colts will sort out their plans at linebacker during training camp.
Finishing 76th in a golf tournament allowed Jaguars QB Blake Bortles to fulfill one goal.
A review of what Titans TE Delanie Walker did this offseason.
A breakdown of Broncos rookie WR DaeSean Hamilton from his college coach James Franklin.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is about to start gaining some experience.
The Chargers will have a kicking competition this summer.
Previewing the battle for playing time at linebacker for the Raiders.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott took a trip to Disney with his receivers.
Eagles QB Carson Wentz got married.
QB Davis Webb is trying to prove himself to a new Giants coaching staff.
Sharing some optimism about the Washington secondary.
Should Bears fans worry about LB Roquan Smith‘s contract?
QB Matthew Stafford tops a list of the most important Lions.
Who will be the Packers backup quarterback?
Looking at the makeup of the Vikings linebacking corps.
The Falcons hope QB Matt Ryan and quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp work well together.
The Panthers are looking for more from their running backs.
RB Alvin Kamara is set for a bigger role to open his second Saints season.
Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson has 22 touchdowns of 60 or more yards in his career.
The Cardinals will put single game tickets on sale soon.
S Lamarcus Joyner didn’t get a new contract with the Rams.
The 49ers foundation will hold a fundraiser at Levi’s Stadium on August 28.
Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin helped an effort to build a community center in Renton, Washington.
Lonnie Walker Jersey ,