Report: Former Dallas Stars head coach, Glen Gulutzan, expected to join Canucks staff as assistant

When the Mike Gillis hired John Tortorella, the Canucks’ coaching search wasn’t over. The team had two associate/assistant coach positions to fill, as they fired Rick Bowness and Newell Brown when they let Alain Vigneault go.

One of those spots is expected to be filled by Mike Sullivan, who has coached with Tortorella in both Tampa Bay and New York. The other spot? It may just be filled by Glen Gulutzan, who previously interviewed for the head coaching job.

The initial report came from Ren Lavoie of RDS, though he got the name a little wrong.

 

To be fair, he got it right in the original French tweet. Darren Dreger took the report a step further:

 

It looks fairly certain that Gulutzan will be the Canucks’ second assistant coach. Interestingly enough, it will be Gulutzan’s first assistant coaching job in his career, other than a stint as a player/assistant with the Fresno Falcons from 2001 to 2003. He has been a head coach throughout his coaching career, first with the Las Vegas Wranglers in the ECHL, then with the Texas Stars in the AHL, before taking his first NHL job with the Dallas Stars in 2011.

Gulutzan’s first stint in the NHL did not go as well as he hoped, as the Stars missed the playoffs in both of his first two seasons, finishing 10th and 11th in the Western Conference.

He is still a young coach, however, with a strong record prior to his one year in the NHL. He was very successful in the ECHL and took the Texas Stars to the Calder Cup Final in his first year with the team. Some described his time in Dallas as a no-win situation, as he had an inexperienced coaching staff around him, the team saw a lot of turnover, and he inherited a team that had missed the playoffs in the three previous seasons.

Gulutzan may be the “good cop” that many suggested the Canucks needed after hiring Tortorella. He is known as a player’s coach who worked well with young players in the AHL and considers himself a teacher.

Morever, Dallas Stars blog, Defending Big D, has this to say after Gulutzan was fired: “Gulutzan is an intelligent, thoughtful coach who always treated those in the media with respect and class.”

Respect for the media? That definitely sounds like the right counterpoint to Tortorella.

It will definitely be interesting to see how he handles his first job as an assistant after getting used to being in charge for his entire coaching career. He was even the general manager for the Las Vegas Wranglers. It seems like a good career move for Gulutzan, at the very least, as teams will likely want to see that he can succeed at the NHL level before considering him for another NHL head coaching position.

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10 comments

  1. Jevon
    July 3, 2013

    nice to see they have put in place the next head coach under the next GM

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    • Yuri
      July 3, 2013

      Very true

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  2. Kenji
    July 3, 2013

    Who will be the technical, xs and os man?

    (Or woman, theoretically.)

    Newell Brown doesn’t get a lot of praise around here but when that good 2011 team was rolling, it was doing so in large part because of killer power play activity.

    Christian Erhroff was the key. Or, that manifestation of a key role (puck rushing defenceman).

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    • the real bob
      July 4, 2013

      the main problem I found with Brown was that when the powerplay was struggling, he didn’t make any significant changes to improve it except for adding more drop passes…look how well that went

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    • Daniel Wagner
      July 4, 2013

      From what I’ve heard, Gulutzan is a good x’s and o’s guy. He’s generally described as very intelligent and knows the game inside and out. It could be that he’ll run the powerplay, given that the Rangers powerplay struggled under Sullivan.

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  3. BBoone
    July 4, 2013

    Apparently Luongo may or may not know much about the two assistant coaches but hockey fans are outraged that neither one of them ever played goal in the NHL. Sources also say the Tortorella has never been an assistant coach for Gulutzan and that this is also a problem for the Sedins. All the regular hockey writers are reporting that this saga is continuing and that this is another indication of how badly Gillis has managed yet another situation.

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    • Gabe
      July 4, 2013

      Did you pick this up on your fillings?

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    • Aaron
      July 4, 2013

      WHAT???????

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    • Tom
      July 4, 2013

      You see? That’s funny!

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  4. KP
    July 16, 2013

    Glen was an excellent selection, and guaranteed he will be a head coach or even a GM in this league again. He will surprise a few people yet, after Torts gets his crack at the players and if it fails Glen will get the next chance because of what he brings to the game. He had decent records in the big ‘ D’ considering what he had to work with, plus both years at trade deadlines they cut his depth short on him. Yet he still stayed competative for playoff berths. A more stable franchise like Vancouver will only bring out his compassion and skill to push the Canucks to greater heights.

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