Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
"They have the pieces and the personnel, it’s just a matter of whether it will come together," said Modano, who helped bring Dallas its first Stanley Cup in 1999.
Trades for top playmaking centers like Seguin and Spezza don't come by often and they aren't easy to make, but Modano wasn't surprised Nill was able to pull it off in consecutive offseasons.
Modano, regarded as one of the best American-born centers to play the game, has known Nill for a long and knows him to be a savvy hockey mind. Nill knows the game, how to treat his players and understands the business side.
"I think it says a lot about Jim Nill. Good GMs around the league have a way of luring good players to play for their organization," said Modano, who amassed 561 goals and 1,374 points in 1,499 NHL games. "That comes with his history with the [Detroit Red] Wings, working with Kenny Holland, [Mike] Ilitch.
"You create some opportunities for individuals getting a second chance or reinventing themselves as players. He's kind of got that asset to him that he's able to do that and get them excited about being here. The stability with ownership here, that does a lot too."
“When I actually saw the Spezza trade, or heard about it, I didn’t believe it at first. I had to go online, social media these days, and see if it was confirmed. Get right on my Twitter and type it in: ‘Jason Spezza, is he here or not.”
I’m really excited, it’s made this summer even longer just cause with our new acquisitions and how good we felt we were coming together last year, you really wish it was October already.
I think everyone’s ready to go. I’ve been talking, even seeing the guys so much this summer, it’s surprising for an offseason.
In Boston, I didn’t see my teammates that often, I guess, everyone kind of does their own thing. But this summer, with the Stars, it seems like we’re always together every other week, but everyone’s excited and ready for training camp to start.”
-Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars. More from Seguin at the Dallas Morning News.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
"When you look at how young we are with some of our talent, it will be how they manage those expectations that are going to be placed upon them," Ruff said. "There's going to be no free nights."
The good news is Dallas fared well against the Avalanche, Blues, Blackhawks and Wild in the second half last season, going 5-2-1. Overall, Dallas was 12-10-6 against the other playoff teams in the West, including 5-2-2 against the three Pacific Division qualifiers.
"Our guys know they can compete against those teams," Nill said. "That's what excites me about our group. Our dressing room is unbelievable. They play for each other and they play the right way."
Nill has given the Stars the tools by making several shrewd personnel decisions since he was hired 15-plus months ago. His focus has been on building through the middle.
from the CP via MetroNews,
A judge has ruled the owner of the NHL’s Dallas Stars and the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League broke federal environmental laws while renovating his waterfront vacation home in Kamloops, B.C.
The charges were laid after Tom Gaglardi and Northland Properties ordered workers to alter the shore of Kamloops Lake while constructing a boat launch. Gaglardi is due back in court on Aug. 21 to set a date for sentencing.
During the trial, former Northland employee Jim Parks said he was ordered to destroy documents and throw a computer hard drive “in the lake” when federal investigators began looking into alleged environmental improprieties at the home....
The maximum penalties for harmful alteration of fish habitat are fines of up to $1 million and or six months in jail.
a bit more...
from Alex Silverman of SportsBusiness Daily,
The Stars took a significant step forward in ’13-14, making the playoffs for the first time since Owner Tom Gaglardi bought the team out of bankruptcy in ’11.
The team followed up that milestone by adding veteran scorers Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky to its young core. With the hope that the team will carry its on-ice momentum into ’14-15, the front office, led by President & CEO Jim Lites, is working to put the team’s business operations in a position to follow suit.
Lites admitted the team likely is not in a position to turn a profit this season, but said that the goal is climbing closer. Lites: “Once we can sell the lower arena of the AmericanAirlines Center out on a season-ticket basis at fair prices, we’re going to be well on our way to being profitable on an annual basis.”
Lites said that the team is 80% of the way to selling out the arena's lower bowl on a nightly basis. The team has a full season-ticket base of 9,000 heading into this season, up from 6,000 when Gaglardi took over.
FRISCO, Texas - Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Antoine Roussel on a four-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Roussel, 24, concluded his second season with the Dallas Stars, earning career highs during the regular season in games played (81), goals (14), assists (15), points (29) and penalty minutes (209). The winger finished the 2013-14 campaign third in the NHL with 209 penalty minutes and was the only player in the League to record more than 25 points and 150 penalty minutes. The 6-foot, 200-pound forward made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in 2014, posting three assists, four shots and 27 penalty minutes in six postseason contests.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
... it's not like Dallas has been a hot destination, either. It's a town that appears on plenty of no-trade lists, including Spezza's initially. Sure, you can golf 50 weeks of the year and the absence of a state income tax is a nice bargaining chip. But so is winning, and this team is only now figuring out how to do that after years of ineffective play.
It's to his credit then that Nill hasn't only figured out a way to work around his own limitations, he's had the courage to make the hard choices that have brought his plan to life. The Stars haven't been turned into overnight Stanley Cup contenders, but he has given this team direction. He's given it an image.
And maybe most importantly, he's given it hope. Not just for years down the road, but for this season.
And that's making some other GMs look bad.
SportsDay's Dallas Stars beat writer, Mike Heika, hosted a chat Tuesday to talk everything hockey. Here are some of the highlights:
Question: People are saying the Stars can win the cup next year. What's a realistic expectation for this team?
Heika: Another tough question. I think they are a legitimate playoff team now. I think they have the chance (especially by adding a few wins from the back-up goalie) of being a 100-point team and moving into possibly the fifth or sixth seed in the West. They could certainly do even better than that, but I think they will be better than just battling for eighth now. As for the Cup, that's still a tough bet. There are lots of good teams in the West, there are lots of questions on the Stars. There are moves that can still be made before next April. I think the Stars should clear a lot of cap space next summer, make another big move (possibly on defense) and be a Cup contender in 2015-16.
more at the Dallas Morning News...
Jim Nill talked first about the Dallas Stars then turned it over to Jason Spezza.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Like a wine stain on a wedding gown, the Stars’ defense still has many fans seeing red.
While general manager Jim Nill put some zing in his second line and added an admirable project at backup goalie this week, he didn’t touch the defense. That’s right, nothing. And haven’t you been hearing for the last four years that the blueline is where this team needs the most attention?
But Nill said he has a plan, and it’s to trust the kids. His changes will come in the form of Jamie Oleksiak, Patrik Nemeth, John Klingberg, Jyrki Jokipakka and Cameron Gaunce. Nill is betting that at least two of those youngsters will take a step forward, and that the remaining defensemen will be as good or better than last season.
“I’m excited about our defense,” Nill said. “We’ve got three or four young kids that are knocking on the door from the Calder Cup championship down in Texas. We think we’ve got lots of different options. We know they’re all going to get better. We think we’re going to be just fine.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com