SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: Stars' Nill in no hurry to hire coach

Glen Gulutzan. (BEN PELOSSE/LE JOURNAL DE MONTRÉAL/QMI AGENCY)

Glen Gulutzan. (BEN PELOSSE/LE JOURNAL DE MONTRÉAL/QMI AGENCY)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:46 PM ET

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill is OK with potentially participating in the NHL draft on June 30 without a head coach by his side.

On Wednesday, Nill told NHL.com he has not set a firm deadline on when the team will hire a new bench boss.

“I’m not going to rush into something that’s not going to make sense,” Nill said. “I’m going to be careful that way.”

Multiple media reports have referenced Lindy Ruff, Alain Vigneault, and Dallas Eakins as candidates.

The Stars fired head coach Glen Gulutzan on May 14.

“We’ve interviewed a lot of people and I’ve got more coming up,” Nill added. “We’re looking at every angle, whether it’s top NHL coach or the top guys down in the development leagues.”

NIITYMAKI RE-JOINS FLYERS – AS SCOUT

Antero Niittymaki is trading in his pads for a notebook and pen.

The former NHL goalie, who spent six of eight seasons manning the Philadelphia Flyers’ crease, has been hired as a scout.

The Flyers announced Wednesday Niittymaki, 32, will be evaluating European goaltending talent. He and fellow Finn Ilkka Sinisalo – also a Flyer alumnus – will work together.

“I was able to kind of get my name out there with the Flyers and I felt that was my team,” Niittymaki told the Flyers’ website. “That organization was closest to me. I like the way the organization works and all the people there.”

Niittymaki’s final NHL season was 2010-11. He posted a .896 save percentage and 12-7-3 record in 24 games for the San Jose Sharks.

In 2011-12, he played his last pro hockey season in Finland’s SM-liiga.

NICHOL FINDS JOB INSTANTLY

Scott Nichol is making a smooth transition into post-playing life.

On Wednesday, the 38-year-old announced his retirement as a St. Louis Blues player. He has also accepted a gig with the Nashville Predators, taking on a player development director role.

Nichol enjoyed a 662-game NHL career, suiting up for the Blues, Predators, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, and Chicago Blackhawks, primarily as a checking forward.

“Scott was a player who had to work hard for everything in his career, and he will bring energy, enthusiasm and work ethic to this job,” Nashville general manager David Poile said in a statement. “As a newly retired player, he also has the ability to relate to players at all levels and help in their development.”

DUCKS GOALIE COACH CALLS IT QUITS

Anaheim Ducks goalie coach Pete Peeters announced his retirement Wednesday.

Peeters, 55, was with the club four seasons, taking the likes of Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth under his wing.

The 55-year-old coached off and on since 1993, working for two other NHL franchises, the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes.

During a 13-year playing career, Peeters appeared in 489 games. In 1983, he captured the Vezina Trophy.

“Pete's character, competitiveness and class have made him one of the League's great people,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said in a statement. “We wish him the very best during his well-deserved retirement and thank him for his contributions to the Ducks and the NHL.”

The OC Register reported the Ducks may hire Dwayne Roloson, one of Peeters’ former pupils, as its new goalie coach. Roloson is currently employed by Anaheim, working in a limited role with younger goalie prospects.

BRIEFLY

Colorado Avalanche signed tough guy Patrick Bordeleau to a three-year $3 million contract … Free agent Damien Brunner, 27, told the Oakland Press he is unsure if he’ll resign with the Detroit Red Wings … San Jose Sharks home rink, HP Pavilion, has been renamed the SAP Center …


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