The Gulls have narrowed their list of candidates to two and will likely name a new head coach by the middle of this week, said Don Waddell, vice president of hockey operations.
One candidate is former Buffalo Sabres Coach Rick Dudley, who worked briefly for the Gulls as a scout during the IHL playoffs. Waddell would not release the name of the other finalist, currently under contract as an assistant with a NHL club.
Waddell had interviewed six applicants, including assistant coach Charlie Simmer, for the position he vacated after the 1991-92 season. Simmer, who turned down a head coaching offer by Dallas of the Central Hockey League last week, said he still hopes the Gulls will consider him for an assistant coaching job.
"I need to talk to each individual personally one more time, then I will make my decision," said Waddell, who had set a personal deadline of July 1. "We haven't talked money at all, but that hasn't been a prime consideration. I think our job is as good as any (in minor-league hockey)."
Waddell has sought a successor with prior experience as a professional head coach and someone with reputed knowledge of the game. He is offering a two-year contract.