I’m relieved, I’ll be honest. Even with plenty of reassurances from Mike Heika on his blog, I was starting to wonder what the holdup was. I didn’t want any bad feelings between the GMs and Tipp if it was contentious, even if they did sign it. Sounds like they really just weren’t in much of a hurry and just did it when they did it. (In my experience with corporate timelines, it takes forever to get anything done if there’s more than one person involved. That’s probably all it was.)
I’ve been on record as a big fan of Dave Tippett’s. I’m so glad they stuck with him through the hard times, so we could get to the exciting times. I think he’s a great coach and a smart guy and he seems to be a standup guy just in general.
His regular season record is impeccable, as Heika points out:
Tippett’s teams have been near the top of the NHL standings since he took over as head coach, boasting the third-best record in the league since 2002-03 and the second-best home record. Also, Tippett has guided Dallas to two 50-win campaigns during his tenure (23 of the 30 NHL teams have not registered even one 50-win season since 2002-03).
I knew that they had had two 50-win seasons, but people always play it down by pointing out that the shootout helps since there aren’t any ties any more, making it sound like it’s easy now to get 50 wins. But it doesn’t seem to be that easy, or more teams probably would have done it. The lack of ties also makes losing easier, you know.
Just like any player, Tipp has to build up to his coaching peak. He hadn’t been a head coach in the NHL when he took over the Stars. He started right in making them playoff-worthy every year, but it took some learning on his part to get them some success once they were in. Each season has been progressively better, as he’s learned what it takes in the playoffs, and learned from the mistakes he’s made.
This year’s playoffs showed that he’s still on the upward curve. I was really worried after last year’s loss to the Canucks that management would give up on him and he’d end up applying what he learned to some other lucky team. I don’t think he’s peaked yet, and I’m thrilled that he’s now more likely to be here when he does.