Derek Laxdal will return as the Texas Stars coach for the 2017-18 season.
It was confirmed this weekend that Laxdal will be back for his fourth season leading the Dallas Stars AHL affiliate in Cedar Park.
This isn’t a new development within organization, but it is new public information.
When Laxdal was hired before the 2014-15 season it was announced that it was a three-year contract with the Stars. When asked this weekend, multiple sources confirmed that it’s already a done deal for Laxdal to coach the AHL team for the 2017-18 season and that decision was made “a while ago.”
Laxdal has a 112-82-30 record in three seasons with Texas.
The AHL club has struggled this season and is going to miss the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history. Heading into Sunday’s game the Texas Stars have a 32-35-5 record.
An AHL Win-loss record is important to Dallas, but development is the most important part of Laxdal’s job. In that regard the Stars give Laxdal credit for how he’s helped younger players move up within the system and the former WHL coach has a much larger role in helping younger players adapt to life as a pro hockey player.
For example, this season Laxdal committed to helping Denis Gurianov obtain his driver’s license. Over the course of more than a month this season Laxdal would take trips with Gurianov to the DMV and eventually the 19-year-old Russian acquired an American license.
During an injury-riddled season the Stars had prospects Julius Honka, Remi Elie, Gurianov, Mark McNeill, Gemel Smith, and Jason Dickinson all play in both the NHL and AHL. The fact those players were ready to step into an NHL game is a testament to the AHL coaching staff.
The Stars also give Laxdal and the Texas Stars credit for the NHL readiness of players like Esa Lindell, Devin Shore, and Stephen Johns.