Everyone in the NHL was a little surprised when Marc Crawford was fired by the Dallas Stars just days after the the team failed to make the postseason for the third straight year. The Stars chances of qualifying for the playoffs came down to the final regular season game, but they were unable to come up with the two points needed to extend their season.
On Friday, the Stars announced the hiring of Glen Gulutzan as the team’s new head coach. Gulutzan had spent the last two seasons coaching the Texas Stars, Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate. Before his two seasons in the AHL, he spent six seasons coaching the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL. He led the Wranglers to the postseason in all but one season at the helm, amassing a record of 254-124-53 in the regular season and 36-31 in the postseason.
“The way I describe my philosophy is that I’d like to be a two-way hockey club,” Gulutzan said. “The best way to describe my style is just a hard, two-way game that has some tempo. I think that’s today’s hockey.”
New blood will be good for the Stars, but since Gulutzan has never coached in the NHL in any capacity, he will have to prove himself.
Coincidentally, the Minnesota Wild, the team that defeated the Stars on the final day of the regular season, also announced their new head coach on friday.
Mike Yeo will be just the third head coach of the Wild in franchise history. Just over a year ago, Yeo was hired to as coach of the Houston Aeros, the Wild’s American Hockey League affiliate. It was his first professional head coaching job, and all Yeo did was guide the team to the Calder Cup finals.
At 37, Yeo is currently the youngest coach in the league. Like Gulutzan, he has very little coaching experience and will probably be on a short leash if the team doesn’t show progress after a couple of seasons.