Stars to hire former GM Bob Gainey as consultant

The Dallas Stars are close to hiring former GM Bob Gainey as a consultant, team president and CEO Jim Lites said Wednesday. An official announcement is expected next week.

“I’m a big fan,” Lites said. “We’re excited because of what Bob brings to this market, to this team and to the needs we’ve identified collectively. I just think he is going to be great.”

Gainey, who won five Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens as a player, joined the Stars franchise as head coach in 1990 and became GM in 1992. He stepped down as coach in 1996, but kept the GM title through 2002. He was the GM when the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999.

He also served as Montreal’s GM from 2003-2010 and had been a consultant with the Canadiens until just recently.

Lites said Gainey could consult on a variety issues throughout the organization, especially as an extra voice of input for GM Joe Nieuwendyk.

“He’s actually offered to help in any way he can,” Lites said. “But’s he’s really going to be a senior adviser guy on issues like, not so much who should we hire as opposed to do we need to hire anybody? How do you want to grow? How do we make ourselves bigger and better? Do we need more experience in a particular place? Do we need a more experienced guy in Cedar Park and who should those candidates be?

“At the end of the day those decisions will be made by Joe but Joe will enjoy, I think, a deeper, richer voice. And Joe has been real supportive. Joe has good chemistry with Bob."

Lites added that the hiring of Gainey is another sign that Tom Gaglardi is willing to do what it takes to get the franchise on the right track.

“The market will appreciate that Tom Gaglardi is saying that I am going to make us better,” Lites said. “You don’t get Bob Gainey for ten bucks.”

Prospect Note: OHL Finals

Dallas Stars prospects Jamie Oleksiak and Brett Ritchie are on the brink of elimination in the Ontario Hockey League Finals. Their Niagara team lost 4-1 to London Wednesday night in Game 4 of the series.

London leads the series 3-1. Ritchie had an assist in Wednesday’s game. Game 5 is Friday night.

The winner of the series will advance to the Memorial Cup, which will feature the champions of the Western Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and this year’s host team, the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL.