NHL

Stars promote Gulutzan to head coach

Share This Story

   
 

DALLAS (AP)

As a new general manager, Joe Nieuwendyk tried putting his stamp on the Dallas Stars by making his first coaching hire a well-traveled veteran who'd won a Stanley Cup. That didn't work too well, so Nieuwendyk took the opposite approach this time.

For profiles, news and views from the hockey world, check out The Hockey News.

The Stars announced Glen Gulutzan as their new head coach on Friday, tapping a 39-year-old who has never played or coached in the NHL to revive a team stuck in its worst rut since moving to Dallas in 1993.

Nieuwendyk called the difference more coincidence than design, insisting, ''He's just the right guy for the job.'' The front office knows him well because he spent the last two years coaching their top affiliate, the Texas Stars of the AHL, taking them to the finals as an expansion team in 2010 and back to the playoffs this past season.

''Even though he's young and hasn't coached a game in the NHL, his strengths are exactly what we need,'' Nieuwendyk said. ''He just gets it. He understands players. He understands how to mesh players and how to get the most from their ability. We've seen that from talking to players who played for him. We were highly impressed with the structure and the style of play, just the bench demeanor of Glen. I think that's going to translate well with our players.''

Nieuwendyk said it would be a ''misconception that we hired a young coach to go with our young players.''

''He's going to be our leader,'' Nieuwendyk said. ''Even though he's young, has a relationship with some of our guys, they're certainly going to know who is in charge and they will play hard for him.''

Two years ago, Nieuwendyk hired Marc Crawford and the Stars missed the postseason twice, failing to make it this season by blowing a lead in the final period of the final game.

The Stars had 95 points, matching the most ever by a team that missed the playoffs. That shows there's a good nucleus. And Gulutzan is familiar with many of the up-and-coming players, having helped groom Jamie Benn, Aaron Gagnon and Tomas Vincour.

It's getting the older guys to believe in him that could be his biggest challenge, and he knows it.

''First and foremost, if you can show the veteran players that what you're trying to do will benefit them and the team as a whole, if they can truly believe you're trying to help them, then everyone can grow from those relationships,'' Gulutzan said. ''The easiest selling point is to have success. That's what makes everyone buy in.''

Nieuwendyk also interviewed Ken Hitchcock, coach of Dallas' 1999 Stanley Cup champion club; Montreal assistant Kirk Muller, who was on the 2000 Dallas team that went to the Cup finals; and Nashville assistant coach Peter Horachek.

He said the trend of other teams gambling on young, inexperienced coaches - and seeing many of them hit it big - helped his decision. The Stars actually have a long history of hiring first-time NHL coaches, with Crawford among the few exceptions.

Gulutzan received a two-year contract, with a club option for a third.

A Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, native, and the son of a longtime hockey coach, Gulutzan played professionally in Europe for two seasons, then played in the West Coast Hockey League and the International Hockey League. He also had stints in Finland and Sweden before his first head coaching job, running the expansion Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL. They made the playoffs in five of six seasons and reached the finals once and the conference finals another time.

Under his guidance, the Texas Stars went 87-56-17 during the regular season and 16-14 during the playoffs. He's also 5-0 in Game 7s.

''I think the best way to describe my philosophy is a hard two-way game that has today's tempo,'' Gulutzan said.

The Stars have missed the playoffs three straight years after failing to qualify only twice in their first 14 season in Dallas. There were some glorious seasons mixed in, with Nieuwendyk starring on the club that won the Stanley Cup in 1999 and returning to the finals in 2000.

Dallas was in the conference finals as recently as 2008, but hasn't made the playoffs since. In addition to a coaching turnstile - from Dave Tippett to Crawford to Gulutzan - the club is in the process of being sold.

Gulutzan (pronounced GULL-it-zen) said he was willing to wade into this sticky situation in part because of what a great opportunity it is. But he also believes the team is on the way back up.

''Everyone in the hockey world knows the pieces are here - goaltending, skill up front,'' he said. ''We just have to add to it now.''

Tagged: Stars, Joe Nieuwendyk

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt