DALLAS - Walking away from the Dallas Stars introductory press conference I came away immediately liking the new coach, Glen Gulutzan. Typical, Western Canadian guy. And he likes to fish. These are good things.
( Briefly - no, no official word on a new owner. About the only good thing I heard came from a Stars' higher up who said the NHL has assured him the process is moving along. And that this should be done by Sept. 1. Great. Of course, an NHL sale that "moves along" could mean it will take less than 20 years. )
When I asked Gulutzan who his greatest coaching mentor was he kicked around a few names in his own head before saying it's his dad. His dad taught him how to deal with people, and to adapt to all different types of personalities.
That's good. But the thing that Gulutzan, reportedly, is adept at is figuring out what his roster can and can't do, quickly. He's not going to ask Brenden Morrow to become a sniper, and he's not going to ask Stephane Robidas to become Chris Pronger.
Gulutzan sounds like a guy who would prefer to play a heavy, physically pounding game. Those teams, such as the Bruins, can eventually wear another team out. But if his roster is not built for that, and this team is not, he won't be so stubborn and not adapt.
"You have to be able to adapt to what you have," he said.
He stresses a two-way game, which means these guys had better be defensively responsible in their own end. Mike Ribiero, back-checking is kind of a big deal to this guy.
Stars GM Joe said one of the selling points for Gulutzan is the fact that he won a lot with not a lot of high-end talent. Joe believes that only comes with structure.
If Gulutzan's structure works, and they can find one or two more players, the Stars should be able to compete well enough again and get into the playoffs. After that, the new owner is going to have to provide some cash because structure is only going to get you so far.
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