I think playing in the NHL is harder as a player, but I believe coaching in the AHL could be harder. I’m not saying coaching in the NHL is not difficult. It clearly is. All I am saying is that in the NHL when you get to a coaching job you have at least 2 established veterans on your team.
In the AHL you have to coach and develop the players your organization drafts. Glen Gulutzan has done that over the past two seasons with the Dallas Stars AHL team in Texas. Glen Gulutzan got the Texas Stars to the Calder Cup Finals in his first year as a head coach. Then last year he got the Stars back to the playoffs. Dallas had the front 6 this season, but I’m not sold on Steve Ott being a front 6 player as a two way forward while I believe Mike Ribero is a line 2 center rather than a line 1 center.
There is no question Gulutzan can develop the draft picks that get called up to Dallas. My biggest concern with Glen Gulutzan is how the veterans on Dallas respond to him as a head coach for the Dallas Stars when he gets hired. Do the Dallas Stars players respect him? Are the players motivated to win for him? Do the players say there motivated to play for him, but mask their true emotions from the media by performing poorly saying their losses were unfortunate because the players do not want to admit they did not perform?
There is no doubt that Glen Gulutzan can develop players like Scott Glennie or Jack Campbell given enough time, but I’m just not sure if Gulutzan will be around in Dallas long enough to develop these players if the veterans on the Dallas Stars fail to respond to him by performing well.