Jim Nill

New Stars GM expects ‘wide open’ coaching search

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Whether you believe new Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill’s claims that Glen Gulutzan’s ouster wasn’t a “foregone conclusion” or not, the bottom line is that the search for a new head coach officially began on Tuesday.

Nill said that he expects interviewing to begin in 7-10 days … and that’s about as much detail as the former Detroit Red Wings executive would go into.

For one thing, he wouldn’t say that he’s only looking at “experienced” candidates.

“No, I am going to be wide open,” Nill said. “As we’ve seen, there are some great young coaches come in and do great things with teams. I need to be wide open to that aspect. We’re going to look at every option available.”

One possibility could be Willie Desjardins, the head coach of the Texas Stars (their AHL affiliate).

“Willie is definitely going to be one of those people, but they are still playing,” Nill said. “He’s done a great job down there, coach of the year. He’s definitely going to get consideration. I think it’s important anytime you go anywhere to look internally first and he’s definitely going to be one of the people on the list.”

If his search matches his comments, then Nill will emphasize a very thorough process.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.