The Stars don’t appear to be in a hurry to find a replacement for Ken Hitchcock behind the bench. GM Jim Nill told Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News that he plans to pare down his list of candidates in the coming weeks and then begin interviewing his short list in May. That would appear to take them out of the running for Carolina bench boss Bill Peters, whose opt-out in his contract expires on Friday.
Nill acknowledged that he won’t necessarily be looking for a veteran behind the bench which would be a change of direction from his recent hires (Hitchcock and Lindy Ruff). He’s open to bringing in someone without any NHL experience although he was quick to admit that some of the people he’d like to speak with are still in their respective postseasons. It sounds like the Stars are casting a wide net to find their new bench boss but that means it may be a while before they find the right fit.
More from around the league:
- Despite the fact that Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton spent plenty of time as a healthy scratch this season and was publicly criticized by head coach Travis Green at times, he has not asked for a trade, his agent Andy Scott told Postmedia’s Ben Kuzma. The blueliner, who turns 25 on Friday, recorded just six assists in 61 games in 2017-18 after putting up a total of 44 points over the previous two years. With a cap hit (and salary) of $2.8MM next season that will also represent his qualifying offer in the summer of 2019, Hutton will need a bounce-back season to avoid potentially becoming a non-tender candidate.
- Although he didn’t skate with the team at practice, Flyers center Sean Couturier could still play on Friday night against the Penguins, notes Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post. The pivot skated on his own before the team did and travelled with them to Pittsburgh. His return would a boost to a Philadelphia squad who finds themselves facing elimination in Game Five.