The Stars didn’t waste any time making a coaching change when the season came to an end as they let Lindy Ruff go on Sunday and GM Jim Nill admitted to 1310 AM in Dallas that he did give consideration to making an in-season change before ultimately deciding against it (transcription via the Dallas Morning News):
“He (Ruff) deserved a chance to try to get this team into the playoffs. I’m not a big guy into making changes during the season unless there’s really something that’s standing out. There were no names out there, and I get back to I think Lindy deserved the chance to try and get this team in the playoffs.”
Ruff had a 165-122-41 record over his four seasons in Dallas and he now finds himself among the most experienced coaches on the market; he has been behind an NHL bench as a head coach every season since 1997-98. As for Nill, he noted back when Ruff was let go that the search for his replacement had already started and that he could move quickly to hire someone.
Other coaching notes from around the league:
- While some wondered if Jets head coach Paul Maurice would be among those let go throughout the NHL on Monday, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff told reporters, including Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun, that Maurice has his full support heading into next season. However, no talks regarding a potential contract extension have happened yet as the bench boss heads into the final year of his current deal. For his part, Maurice noted that he is “completely comfortable” heading into next season without an extension as he has been in that situation several times over the years.
- The Kings announced (Twitter link) that they’ve relieved assistant coach Davis Payne of his duties. Earlier in the day, general manager Rob Blake stated he had ha not yet decided whether or not the team would retain Payne or John Stevens, notes Helene Elliott of the LA Times. Payne had been with the Kings since 2012-13 under former head coach Darryl Sutter. He has some experience as an NHL head coach having spent time behind the bench with St. Louis for parts of three seasons.