DALLAS — Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill has already started the process and is looking to hire an experienced head coach in the off-season.
“Right now, I’ve got three people I’ve been talking to,” Nill said. “I’m hoping this is going to happen pretty quickly. These guys are all good coaches. This league moves pretty fast and I know there’s other teams looking at things also, so I’m hoping this moves pretty quickly.”
Nill did say he wouldn’t rush the decision.
“I’m not going make a quick decision if it’s not the right person,” Nill said. “But I’ve got a good idea of the people out there. There is a pretty good stable of coaches with great success and I’ve kind of targeted those ones. I hope it moves quickly, but we’ll see.”
It was also announced that the Stars will not bring back assistant coach James Patrick. Fellow assistant Curt Fraser will have an opportunity to interview with the new head coach, while goalie coach Jeff Reese and video coach Kelly Forbes will return next season.
Nill said that during the regular season he and Ruff had contract talks about a potential extension during the regular season.
“The way the season was going we both decided to just wait and see how the year ends,” Nill said. “In the end we sat down and Lindy was very good yesterday. He said, ‘You know what, maybe there needs to be a different message here.’ He was very open about it.”
Janmark making strides
Nill had an update on Mattias Janmark, who missed the entire season with a genetic knee disorder.
“We’re in uncharted territory with Matias. There’s been no other athlete that’s had this before. He’s doing a great job. He feels good about himself. I think people have seen him,” Nill said. “He’s out skating with the team. He is tomorrow I believe going in to get the screws out. He has two screws that were put in place. Those come out tomorrow and then he’s going to be shut down for four to six weeks after that. No heavy training. And then he can get back training after that. If there’s anybody that can come back, I think it’s him. He’s feeling great. He wanted to see if he could play some games late in the year. But we just said, you know what, is it worth it to play one or two games whereas you’ve got another six months to rehab and let that bone strengthen up. In the end, talked to the doctors, thought it was a better idea let’s use this summer to get even stronger.”
Sharp hopes to play
Patrick Sharp said his hip surgery went well and he’s hopeful for next season.
“Feel pretty good physically. Two weeks ago got the surgery done, I know I’ve got a long road ahead, but thankfully I’ve got great people looking after me and hopefully come back strong,” Sharp said. “I don’t think there is anything out of the ordinary as far as that procedure. Nothing that we haven’t seen in Dallas a few times before. No reason that I should be healthy read to play for next season.”
What about his thoughts on free agency?
“I can’t really answer your question, it’s going to be something new for me. It’s a situation that I’ve never been in. You can talk about free agency and contracts and all that stuff. I’m not concerned with it, I’m just more frustrated with how things turned out for me personally with the Stars.”