Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dallas Stars Fire Head Coach

Report: Stars Fire Coach Dave Tippett

When Joe Nieuwendyk was named the new Dallas Stars general manager nearly two weeks ago, speculation was he would probably retain coach Dave Tippett. After all, he knew Tippett and had worked with him in the past. In terms of performance, the Stars' injury-riddled season -- one year after a run to the Western Conference finals -- seemed to be a good reason to keep the coach around.

Instead, it appears Nieuwendyk wants his own guy. TSN is reporting that the Stars have fired Tippett after six years on the job.

The report also mentions that the Stars appear interested in veteran NHL coach Marc Crawford, who was out of the league a year ago.

While TSN ran with the story, Mike Heika, who covers the Stars for the Dallas Morning News, has been unable to confirm it. He spoke to Nieuwendyk, who issued a "No comment" when asked about Tippett, who is not returning phone calls.

Heika does note that he believes the report to be accurate.

Obviously, a new general manager is going to evaluate everything. While the Stars did make the conference finals a year ago, they were awful for a good chunk of the season's first half. They did find a way into the playoff race, but a late-season fade ruined their chances.

For Nieuwendyk, it's an interesting move. Yes, the temptation is to hire your own guy. However, the tough part is making sure the guy you want is better than the guy you have. In the Stars' case, one consideration has to be the fact that some sort of move toward younger players is coming, as the team does not plan to spend to the salary cap for 2009-2010.

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