The Texas Stars, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the Dallas Stars, announced today that Dallas has appointed Derek Laxdal as the fourth head coach in Texas Stars franchise history.
Laxdal succeeds Willie Desjardins, who was named head coach of the Vancouver Canucks on June 23.
“Derek has a proven track record of developing young players to get the most out of them in a winning environment,” said Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill. “His proven leadership, familiarity with our organization and tremendous character make him a great fit with our culture. We are very excited to welcome him to the Texas Stars.”
Laxdal, 48, just concluded his fourth season as head coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Western Hockey League. Edmonton posted the best record in the Eastern Conference (50-19-3), then went on to win its second WHL championship in three years. Laxdal and the Oil Kings capped off their tremendous season by capturing the 2014 Memorial Cup as the Canadian Hockey League champions.
In his four seasons as Edmonton’s head coach, Laxdal led the team to three 50-win campaigns and an overall record of 182-83-23.
Prior to his stint with Edmonton, Laxdal served as head coach for Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads, for five seasons, posting an overall 219-108-35 regular-season record. He also helped the team qualify for the playoffs each season, made two league finals appearances, and won the Kelly Cup in 2007.
The native of Stonewall, Man., spent three seasons as head coach of Wichita in the Central Hockey League. In total, Laxdal’s teams have qualified for the playoffs in 11 of 12 seasons, posted a .600 points percentage nine times, advanced to the league final five times, and won three championships in two different leagues.
Laxdal was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the eighth round of the 1984 NHL Draft and played 356 AHL games, totaling 108 goals and 122 assists for 230 points. Laxdal won a Calder Cup with the Springfield Indians in 1990. He also spent parts of six seasons with Toronto and the New York Islanders, compiling 19 points (12 goals, seven assists) in 67 career NHL contests.