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Stars want to accelerate search for new coach

General manager Jim Nill hoping to expedite process of replacing Lindy Ruff

by Sean Shapiro / Correspondent

DALLAS -- Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill is looking for a new coach after parting ways with Lindy Ruff on Sunday and said he's already spoken to candidates about the job. 

"Right now, I've got three people I've been talking to," Nill said Monday. "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.

"I'm not going make a quick decision if it's not the right person. 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."

Video: Jim Nill on the upcoming offseason for the Stars

The Stars will also not bring back assistant coach James Patrick. Fellow assistant Curt Fraser will have an opportunity to interview with the new coach. Goalie coach Jeff Reese and video coach Kelly Forbes will return next season. 

Nill said that he and Ruff had contract talks about a potential extension during the regular season. Ruff's four-year contract expired after the season and was not renewed.

"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."

The Stars went 34-27-11 during the regular season. Their 79 points were the second-lowest point total in a non-lockout season since relocating from Minnesota to Dallas. 

Nill also had an update on forward Mattias Janmark, who missed the entire season with a genetic knee disorder.

"He has two screws that were put in place," Nill said. "Those come out tomorrow and then he's going to be shut down for 4-6 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."

Forward Patrick Sharp, 35, also addressed his future. Sharp, who had hip surgery on March 28, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and hopes to return to Dallas next season.

"I don't think there is anything out of the ordinary as far as that procedure," Sharp said. "Nothing that we haven't seen in Dallas a few times before. No reason that I shouldn't be healthy, ready to play for next season."

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