Whenever the season concludes, Jim Nill and the Dallas Stars will have an important decision to make in regards to who the head coach will be next season.

Ideally, Nill will go in a different direction than Bowness, given the team’s offensive staleness, but given the uncertainty as to when this season will end, and the next begins, it would not be shocking if Nill offered him the job.

However, should Nill make the correct decision to move on from Rick, his coaching search should start overseas in Europe.

Tomas Montén

The head coach of the Sweden U-20 team brings lots of coaching experience despite his relative youth. Tomas has been involved in coaching since 2005 and has consistently found success in his career.

He has managed in the Swedish U-20 league and has been coaching for Team Sweden U-19 and U-20 since 2014. He recently led Sweden to a heartbreaking bronze medal after falling in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship after falling to Russia in overtime. He has experience with younger players and can help develop the youth in the Stars system, but his offensive system

A coach who is youthful, experienced, and understands how to manage expectations in a country that is emerging as a powerhouse in the international scene. His coaching success brings an important thing to the Dallas Stars: Expectations. The organization allows average play and mediocrity to exist continually when the expectation needs to be raised to a Stanley Cup or bust level. The executives in the organization are excellent at lip service, but actual demands are lacking.

Tomas would help elevate the expectations for this team. He is also a coach who commands and receives respect from his players and is no stranger to talent.

Raimo Helminen

A former Minnesota North Star and Olympic Gold Medalist with 20 years of International experience, Raimo recently led Team Finland in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship finishing fourth with a strong young, defensive core. Raimo is lighter on coaching experience than Tomas, but he brings a strong resume as a player, which often has been good enough for a coaching chance for NHL players.

Philosophically, Ramio aligns more with how the Dallas Stars have played the last two seasons with a more defensive focus. Finland has turned out some quality, elite defensemen recently as the Stars are well aware. The focus mainly came due to the talent available and the size of the country, so it would be interesting to see what Raimo could do with a variety of offensive talent at his disposal. Given the Stars scouting and relationship with Finnish players, it is only sensible to search for coaching options there as well.

Dallas has made a point to scout, draft, and sign players from Sweden and Finland and found success with players from both countries. Recycling the same old names through the NHL is incredibly tired and stale, so exploring outside options helps get new ideas into the game. Nill took a chance on Jim Montgomery, and had it not been for some personal demons, he had a good chance to be a successful NHL head coach long term.

Neil Graham

A name that some fans will and should yell for is Neil Graham, head coach for the Texas Stars. Coaches and players are both like cakes, though, you have to bake them for the right amount of time to ensure they are ready.

Neil has succeeded in a difficult situation down in Cedar Park but maybe is not quite ready to make the leap. He has all the makings of being a successful NHL coach someday though so should be considered.

Featured Image: Sean Shapiro/Todaysslapshot.com
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