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Hockey fans woke up Friday morning to three announcements for three different organizations that finally put to rest lingering questions and confirmed speculation about who would become the new head coaches of the Dallas Stars and the New York Rangers, as well as the coaching situation in Phoenix. First, Dallas announced that they have hired Lindy Ruff as their head coach, and held a press conference to introduce him later on. Shortly after, in a long-anticipated press conference, New York General Manager Glen Sather officially welcomed Alain Vigneault to the organization. And to cap off the busy morning, Phoenix announced that they have signed head coach Dave Tippett to a new contract.

After being fired during the regular season by the Buffalo Sabres, Ruff became one of the most sought-after coaches on the market. Known for his strict demeanor, Ruff is a solid fit for a young Stars team in the rebuilding process. After yet another frustrating season for the Stars and a year that included many changes, notably the firing of General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk, head coach Glen Gulutzan, and the trading of team captain Brenden Morrow, the organization needed a man who could bring matters under control. And that man is Ruff. He emphasizes discipline and holds his players accountable, a trait that is of great value when dealing with young players. With the addition of Ruff, the Stars bring in an experienced and accomplished coach who can lead the team in a new direction.

Meanwhile, the Rangers have hired another coaching gem on the market today--Alain Vigneault. Fired by the Vancouver Canucks after another early exit in the playoffs, Alain Vigneault's goes from one star-studded team in Vancouver to another highly skilled one in New York. After another disappointing season for the Rangers, Sather opted to go with the calm, collected Vigneault, whose coaching style contrasts with that of the fiery previous head coach, John Tortorella. Perhaps Vigneault can help Rick Nash develop his two-way game as a member of the Rangers; and perhaps his coaching style will satisfy frustrated goaltender Henrik Lundqvist enough to convince him to stay in New York once his contract expires at the end of the 2013-2014 season. For the past several years, the Rangers have seemingly been knocking on the door of the Stanley Cup. The question that remains is whether or not Alain Vigneault will help the Rangers finally achieve their full potential.

In other coaching news, the Phoenix Coyotes announced that they will keep Dave Tippett as their head coach. Although the specific terms of the deal have not been released, reports say the contract keeps Tippett in Phoenix for the next five seasons. Since Tippett's arrival in Phoenix in 2009, the team has made the playoffs three out of the past four years, winning the Pacific Division and advancing to the Western Conference Finals in their 2011-2012 campaign. This past year, the team took a step back, finishing 10th in the Western Conference. However, if his new contract actually is for five years, he has ample time to re-energize his team and make them a legitimate contender for the Cup.
 


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