(Boise, ID) - Though the team?s offseason is barely a month old, the Idaho Steelheads front office has been busy preparing for the 2012-13 season, the team?s 10th in the ECHL. No step is bigger for the team than hiring its next head coach. The team announced on May 2 that it would not renew the contract of Hardy Sauter, its head coach and director of hockey operations for the past two seasons. That announcement got the phones ringing in the front office quickly. Out of respect to the applicants, President Eric Trapp and the Steelheads will not release any names publicly. But he did acknowledge the process is moving smoothly. ?We won?t put a firm timeline on it (hiring the next coach),? Trapp noted. ?We?re really pleased with the excitement level, people want this job and they are anxious to get out here and get started.? There?s already work to be done. The team?s protected list is due to the ECHL League Offices by June 1. Season-ending rosters are due June 15 and the team has to issue any qualifying offers prior to July 1. ?Our ownership group wants to win and they want good people representing the organization,? Trapp noted. ?So it is important that we do our homework and not rush to hire someone just because we have a vacancy.? Whoever the team hires will inherit an affiliation with the NHL?s Dallas Stars and AHL?s Texas Stars, but will not officially inherit any players. All ECHL player contracts are year-to-year, so Idaho?s next head coach will be busy once he arrives. ?We?re sensitive to that aspect (recruiting players),? Trapp said. ?When we hired Hardy and when we hired Derek (Laxdal), it was getting late in the summer so a lot of player decisions had already been made, but it?s more important that we make the right decision on a coach, rather than a fast one.? The Idaho Steelheads begin their tenth season in the ECHL this October and Season Ticket packages are already on sale, beginning at just $275 per seat for all 36 home games. Prior to that, though, the team will host Project Filter NHL Training Camp with the Dallas Stars as Idaho?s NHL affiliate brings its training camp and an NHL exhibition game to CenturyLink Arena in September. The Stars will take on the Minnesota Wild in Boise on September 25 in just the second NHL game ever played in Idaho. For more information on Season Tickets or Project Filter NHL Training Camp, contact the team?s front office at 208.383.0080.
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