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Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill’s in charge of the Grand Rapids Griffins’ coaching search

I jammed a bunch of mid-day news into the Darren Helm re-signing entry, but as Wings assistant GM Jim Nill happens to serve as the Grand Rapids Griffins’ GM, and they’ve lost the services of Curt Fraser and signed Luke Glendening to an AHL-only contract, Nill’s conversation with the Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner, regarding the “farm team’s” search for Fraser’s replacement, merits its own entry.

Nill says that he wants to find a new coach by time the Wings’ summer prospect camp begins…

Two weeks, maybe sooner,” Jim Nill, assistant general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, said of a replacement for Curt Fraser, the fourth-year coach who on Monday became the assistant coach of the Dallas Stars in the NHL.

“We have some very good candidates,” Nill said. “We’ll have a list of about 10 and that list will grow, but the way we got it down, we have three or four top guys we’ve identified.”

And he’s got a certain “type” in mind:

“We want a young, energetic guy. It’s a fine line in the minors – we all want to win but we need to develop so it’s a real balancing act. You want someone who’s worked with younger kids but still is very demanding and expects to win. And that’s important to us that we have someone that can instill that winning attitude.”

The Red Wings will be under pressure to have someone in place no later than July 6 when the Griffins’ annual prospect development camp begins in Traverse City.

“We’d like to have it done by that time because that person will be working with these players,” Nill said.

Nill told Wallner that the Wings wanted to re-sign Fraser, but then the Stars came into the mix…

“We had started to talk already and we got a phone call from Dallas,” Nill said. “We encouraged him. We’re very close to Curt. At first he was a little hesitant to even talk to Dallas, But we talked to him and said ‘Curt, it’s the NHL, you need to meet with him.’ In the end, he deserves that and it’s one step closer to his goal to be head coach again the NHL.”

And now, the Wings will start looking for a replacement whose name may or may not be long-time assistant coach Jim Paek…

“We always look internally first,” [Nill] said. “I’m not going to mention names, but look internally in Grand Rapids and go from there.”

But Paek doesn’t assume that he’s a slam dunk to be named Fraser’s successor:

“You always looking for an opportunity to improve and advance your career,” Paek said. “But at the same time it’s a process and nothing is guaranteed.”

With Josh Harding having signed with the Minnesota Wild this afternoon, there’s also been some talk about back-up goalies still available: I don’t think that Martin Biron wants to leave New York, and I’d imagine that Marty Turco and Al Montoya wants to compete for starters’ jobs, but Scott Clemensen, Alex Auld, Chris Mason, possibly Jonas Gustavsson and Johan Hedberg are all available.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



Jesse Wallin? wish we’d have known and could’ve brought in Gallant.

Posted by BobaFett from Las Vegas on 06/19/12 at 09:35 PM ET

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.