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Stars GM Nill won't rush coaching decision

by Steve Hunt /

DALLAS -- According to Dallas Stars general manger Jim Nill, the team is getting close to finding a replacement for coach Glen Gulutzan, who was fired May 14 after going 66-57-9 in two seasons. The Stars have not been in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2008, when they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Final.

Nill said he'd like to have a coach in place before the 2013 NHL Draft on June 30 in Newark, N.J., where Dallas will pick twice in the first round.

"There's no set deadline. I'd like to have it done before the draft. It'd be nice. It's nice to have your coach there during that," Nill said. "But I'm not going to rush into something that's not going to make sense. I'm going to be careful that way."

Dallas' search has been linked to former Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff and former Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. Nill, who has been Dallas GM since April 29 after serving as Detroit's assistant GM for 16 seasons, wouldn't comment on specific candidates but did say his search will be thorough.

"We've interviewed a lot of people and I've got more coming up. We're looking at every angle, whether it's top NHL coach or the top guys down in the development leagues," Nill said.

He has been devoting a good deal of his time recently to evaluating and interviewing coaching candidates. However, he also recently attended the NHL Scouting Combine and has been busy preparing for the draft, where Dallas will pick 10th and holds the Boston Bruins' pick later in the first round after the Bruins qualified for the Eastern Conference Final, a condition in the trade that sent Jaromir Jagr from Dallas to Boston.

The Dallas GM said he sees the Stars as having two pressing needs.

"It's no secret we need some help down the middle and we need some help in the back end," Nill said. "So those are probably the positions we're looking at. Now, if a player comes along that is just so good at some other position, we'll also look at that."

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