Stars hire former Tiger Lidster as AHL assistant

Former Tigers standout Doug Lidster, pictured, is back in the coaching ranks.

From theahl.com …

Texas Stars general manager Scott White announced Friday that the club has hired Doug Lidster as assistant coach of Dallas’ primary affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Lidster, 51, was the hockey director for the Victory Honda AAA youth program in suburban Detroit the last five years. He also served a stint as the assistant coach for Canada’s women’s national hockey team in 2009-10, where he helped guide the team to the Four Nations Cup Championship, as well as an Olympic Gold Medal and an MLP Cup Championship.

Prior to his time with Victory Honda and Team Canada, he was the head coach of the Saginaw Spirit in the Ontario Hockey League.

Lidster was an assistant coach with Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League in 2002-03, the first season during which new Texas Stars head coach Willie Desjardins was the Tigers’ bench boss. With Medicine Hat, he helped guide the team to the second round of the WHL Playoffs.

“We are pleased to add Doug Lidster to our coaching staff,” said White. “He and Willie Desjardins have a history of working well together, and he clearly has fantastic experience as a player and as a coach. We feel he’ll be an outstanding asset to the club and we welcome him to the Texas Stars family.”

The native of Kamloops, B.C., played in the NHL from 1984-1999 with the Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars. In 897 career games, he recorded 343 points (68 goals, 268 assists) and 679 penalty minutes. He played in a total of 80 Stanley Cup playoff games and was a member of Stanley Cup championship teams in New York (1994) and Dallas (1999).

The All-American had an impressive CC career as well with 174 points in 143 games as a Tiger, the third-best among defensemen in school history.

Bidwill joins McMillin on CHL’s Allen Americans

Former Tiger defenseman Arthur Bidwill, pictured at right, is headed to Allen, Texas this weekend to join the Central Hockey League’s Allen Americans franchise, where former teammate and center Brian McMillin is tied for sixth on the team with 40 points (26 assists) in 61 games.

“There were one of the teams that approached me after the season,” Bidwill said Thursday afternoon.”‘It was a pretty easy decision. It was kind of a bonus to see McMillin on the roster and know someone already on the team.”

The Americans’ regular season concludes this weekend so Bidwill will head there now, sign a contract for the rest of the season and get in a couple practices before potentially making his debut during the CHL playoffs. Berry Conference No. 2 seed Allen (36-18-9) hosts the third-place Texas Brahmas (33-23-8) next weekend.

The CHL teams have a 19-man playoff roster paired with a rotating list of players available to fill in as needed. Bidwill expects to be in that grouping.

He is confident and hopeful he can do well and garner an invitation to next season’s training camp and perhaps a contract for the following season. There is some upward mobility possible with the Americans’ affiliation agreements with the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars, where Stephen Schultz is on the Austin team’s roster, and the Lake Erie Monsters in Cleveland.

“Hopefully I can get in for a couple games and start building my pro (experience),” he said. “College definitely helped prepare me for the pace of the game.”

Bidwill said he will get his mathematical economics degree. He is finishing his thesis over the next couple weeks. All his classwork is completed.

In the meantime, he hopes to keep playing the game he loves for as long as he is able, acknowledging that no one plays in the CHL to get rich.

“Definitely,” he said with a chuckle. “Right now I am just looking to build on my college experience in a new career in the pro ranks.”