Friday, October 3, 2008

Stu Barnes to retire, become assistant coach

The Stars announced today that Stu Barnes will retire as a player and become an assistant coach with the team. He'll get a two-year deal, and the team also will announce two-year contract extensions for associate coach Rick Wilson and assistant coach Mark Lamb. Barnes will take Ulf Dahlen's place in the mix, but he will definitely have a less prominent role -- which might, in a strange way, be a good thing for the Stars. Dahlen (who this season will be the head coach for Frolunda in Sweden) very much wanted to play a big role on the Stars, and would often leave the press box during a game to come down to the bench in the third period. That probably put too many voices on the bench for the players. Barnes will stay in the press box and learn the role of assistant. He is expected to go to Traverse City for the prospects tournament Sept. 13-17 and hang out with the front office and the scouts and learn how to "see a game'' from the stands. That's tougher than it sounds for a player, because it takes some getting used to when you've been on the ice your entire career. Barnes says he is clear of concussion symptoms that ended his season, but that he really hasn't pushed himself to get his heart rate where it needed to be for him to play again. He said he will probably push harder during the season just to see if the symptoms come back. But right now, he's feeling good and ready to take the next step. Here's a link to a great tribute video on him on Here's the press release: FRISCO, Tex. - The Dallas Stars announced today that center Stu Barnes has announced his retirement from the National Hockey League after a 16-year career, and has signed a two-year contract to join the Stars' coaching staff as an assistant coach. In addition, the club announced two-year contract extensions for Associate Coach Rick Wilson and Assistant Coach Mark Lamb, whose contracts were set to expire after the 2008-09 season and will now reach through 2010-11. "We congratulate Stu on an outstanding playing career and we are very excited that he will now join our coaching staff," said Co-General Manager Les Jackson. "Stu was a consummate professional on and off the ice throughout his career, and was the type of player who always exhibited the qualities you would associate with a future coach. Stu will be an excellent addition to our staff, which we feel is among the best in the league. Rick (Wilson) has played a major role in building the Stars franchise into the perennial contender that it is today. We believe Mark Lamb is one of the top young assistants in the game and a major asset to our organization." "I was truly fortunate to play as long as I did, and I knew this was the time for me to wrap up my playing days," said Barnes. "A great opportunity to become an assistant coach was presented to me by the Stars, and I look forward to making that transition and learning a new part of the game." Barnes, 37, collected 597 career.nhl points (261 goals, 336 assists) in 1,136.nhl games with the Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars. He also skated in 116 career Stanley Cup Playoff games over 12 postseasons, notching 30 goals and 32 assists for 62 points and reaching the Cup Final twice (Buffalo, 1999; Florida, 1996). The 5-11, 182-pound center was acquired via trade by Dallas on March 10, 2003, in exchange for Mike Ryan and a second-round draft pick, and in 329 total games with the Stars, recorded 120 points (53 goals and 67 assists). He added 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 38 Stanley Cup Playoff games with Dallas. The native of Spruce Grove, Alta., was originally selected by Winnipeg in the first round (No. 4 overall) of the 1989 Entry Draft. He had a stellar career with the Tri-City Americans in the Western Hockey League, and currently co-owns that club with his junior teammate, goaltender Olaf Kolzig. Barnes was named the WHL's Most Valuable Player in 1988-89, when he posted 144 points (52 goals, 92 assists) in 63 games. Wilson, 58, is set to enter his sixth season as associate coach for the club, and his 16th season with the Stars organization, dating back to the club's days as the Minnesota North Stars. As a member of the Stars coaching staff, he has been a part of seven division titles, two Western Conference crowns, two Presidents' Trophies and the 1999 Stanley Cup championship. Wilson's main coaching focus lies with the team's defensemen, as well as the penalty kill, which ranked second in the.nhl last season (85.5%). The native of Prince Albert, Sask., served as head coach in 32 games with Dallas during the 2000-01 season, leading the club to a 13-11-8 mark after Ken Hitchcock was dismissed. Prior to joining the Stars, Wilson worked as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, Team Canada and his alma mater, the University of North Dakota. He was also head coach and general manager for Prince Albert in the WHL, and led the Raiders to the 1985 Memorial Cup championship. Lamb, 44, begins his sixth season as assistant coach for the Stars, with his primary focus on the club's forwards and power play. Lamb helped guide Dallas to Pacific Division titles in 2002-03 and 2005-06. Prior to joining the Stars, Lamb served as a development coach with Edmonton for two seasons, managing the development of players throughout the Oilers organization. Lamb was a key member of Edmonton's 1990 Stanley Cup championship club, recording 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 22 postseason games that season en route to the Cup. Lamb skated in 403 career.nhl games with Calgary, Detroit, Edmonton, Ottawa, Philadelphia and Montreal, tallying 46 goals and 100 assists for 146 points. Source

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