Texas Stars’ new coach takes a long look at prospects at development camp

Derek Laxdal is growing acclimated to a new job this week while taking in the Dallas Stars’ annual development camp in Frisco.

Laxdal, the Texas Stars’ new head coach, and his assistant, Karl Peters, flew to Dallas on Thursday morning. At the development camp, they get a chance to scout players drafted by Dallas during the past three years and free-agent invitees who could be signed for the upcoming season.

“It’s a chance to get to know (Dallas coach) Lindy Ruff and his staff,” Laxdal said Thursday by phone. “We have an opportunity to get a hands-on feel for how Dallas runs its systems. It kind of just moves the process forward in the job.”

After spending another day in Dallas, Laxdal said he will head to Central Texas with his wife on Sunday to start looking for a home.

“I’m excited to get to Texas,” said Laxdal, who led the Edmonton Oil Kings to the Western Hockey League championship this past season. “Moving company is hired; now it’s looking for where we’ll be going.”

Laxdal also will work closely with potential Texas Stars at the NHL’s prospects tournament, which runs Sept. 12-16 in Traverse City, Mich.

It will be Laxdal’s second time coaching the Dallas Stars’ prospects. As the coach of the Idaho Steelheads — Dallas’ ECHL affiliate — he led a team of Dallas prospects to the championship of the eight-team tournament in 2008.

Rule changes hit AHL: In addition to being the NHL’s top minor league for player development, the AHL acts as a research and development lab, and next season it will test new overtime rules.

In the past, AHL teams played five minutes of four-on-four hockey. This season, teams will play seven minutes, starting with four-on-four hockey for the first three minutes and switching to three-on-three at the first stoppage with fewer than four minutes to play.

Continue reading this story in the Austin American-Statesman.

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