Dallas Stars hire Marc Crawford as coach

DALLAS (AP)—The Dallas Stars hired Marc Crawford as their new coach Thursday, bringing in a well-traveled NHL veteran to replace the fired Dave Tippett.

FILE - This is a Feb. 22, 2007 file photo showing Los Angeles Kings head coach Marc Crawford giving instructions to his players during a time out in the final minutes of the Kings' 3-2 loss to Crawford's former team, the Vancouver Canucks, during an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles. The Dallas Stars named Marc Crawford as their new coach Thursday June 11, 2009, bringing in a well-traveled NHL veteran to replace the fired Dave Tippett. (AP Photo/Mark Avery, File)

DALLAS (AP)—The Dallas Stars hired Marc Crawford as their new coach Thursday, bringing in a well-traveled NHL veteran to replace the fired Dave Tippett.

Crawford has a 470-361-156 record in 13 seasons as coach of the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings. He was the Avalanche coach when they won the 1996 Stanley Cup. His last season on the bench was for the Kings in 2007-08, when they were 32-43-7.

Tippett finished with a 271-162-59 record in six seasons with the Stars. He took them to the playoffs five times before falling short last season.

The change was the first significant move by general manager Joe Nieuwendyk since he was hired May 31.

“I am very excited that we have been able to secure Marc Crawford as head coach of the Dallas Stars,” Nieuwendyk said in a statement. “Marc is a winner with extensive experience in this league, and I am confident he will get the most out of our hockey club. … Dave Tippett did a very good job in his six seasons here with the Stars, however it was my feeling that our team needed a new direction moving forward.”

Nieuwendyk and Crawford were scheduled to appear in a news conference later Thursday.

The Stars made it to the Western Conference finals in 2008 and entered last season with high expectations. But they had an injury-plagued season, going much of the year without captain Brenden Morrow and veteran defenseman Sergei Zubov.

Soon after the season, owner Tom Hicks reassigned co-general managers Brett Hull and Les Jackson within the organization and hired Nieuwendyk, the Conn Smythe Award winner in the team’s 1999 Stanley Cup-winning season.

The Stars also said assistant coach Mike Lamb had been fired after six seasons. They said the rest of the staff was still being evaluated, including Rick Wilson, the interim head coach for the Stars after Ken Hitchcock was fired midway through the 2001-02.

Crawford has coached the 15th-most games in NHL history at 987, and has a 43-40 record in eight playoff appearances. He also was head coach for Team Canada during the 1998 Winter Olympics.

“I’m very excited and honored to have been selected as head coach of the Dallas Stars,” Crawford said. “This is a winning organization and I look forward to building upon the success that it has earned over the years. This club has a great deal of potential.”

As a rookie head coach for Quebec in 1994-95, the Nordiques made the playoffs and at 34 he became the youngest recipient of the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL coach of the year, a distinction he still holds. The team moved to Colorado and won the Stanley Cup a year later and he stayed with that franchise until 1998.

Crawford was in Vancouver from 1999-2006, and his 246 wins there are still the most in for a Canucks coach. He had two losing seasons in Los Angeles.

As a player, Crawford was selected in the fourth round (70th overall) of the 1980 draft by Vancouver and appeared in 176 games for the Canucks with 19 goals and 31 assists. He made his NHL debut during the 1981-82 season, which he split between the Canucks and the Dallas Black Hawks of the Central Hockey League.


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