No, the Stars have not made a coaching decision yet. This is merely speculation. But since Alain Vigneault signed to be Head Coach of the NY Rangers, Dave Tippett jumps to the top of the list.
The funny thing is – Tippet isn’t even available at this point. Still employed by the Phoenix Coyotes, Tippett will not be available to the rest of the NHL until July 1. Even that is technically “a maybe”. Phoenix is in negotiations with Tippett to extend his contract so it’s possible the Stars will never even get a chance to speak with him.
Normally it’s bad business to leave money on the table and if Phoenix is offering a good contract, logic says he should take it. But this case it’s a little different. Potential head coach candidates are disappearing each day. That means each day Tippett is more and more valuable. If Tippett becomes a free agent coach on July 1st, It’s gonna cost the Stars. Bet on that. You can also bet Tippett knows that.
Dave Tippett is a local favorite having coached successfully in Dallas once before. He was a classic case of “Ya don’t know what ya got, till it’s gone”. This is a chance for Dallas to get that ex-girlfriend back they never should have broken up with. True, the ownership and management are completely different from before. There will be no sentiment or nostalgia coming from Star’s decision makers here. Tippett will be the head coach simply because he is the best option.
Many analysts are citing Former Buffalo Sabres coach, Lindy Ruff as the top candidate. The Stars will be wise to aggressively kick his tires, if for no other reason than Tippet may never become available. Former Rangers coach John Tortorella is also an option. He’s proven but may be more trouble than worth. Grab a thesaurus and you’ll see Tortorella is a synonym for Donkey.
Finally the dark horse candidate of the group is Jeff Blashill. Bashill was hired by GM Nill once already. Last season he was hand-picked to run Detroit’s AHL team. He not only did well but he took them to the Finals.
Jim Nill waited a long time to become a general manager. He had previous opportunities he just never took advantage. He is calculated and organized. He is determined to do this his way with the right people. Don’t expect him to settle for just anything. If Tippett is the right man for the job like many believe, Nill will find a way. Until then, stay patient.