Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: jim nill
From ESPN's Pierre LeBrun:
The Dallas Stars suffered another loss on Tuesday night and moved one step closer to forcing general manager Jim Nill to become a seller on March 1. Now seven points back of a playoff spot with exactly three weeks to go until the trade deadline, the Stars must a go on a serious roll. Starting now.
"Our focus is trying to get into the playoffs here,'' Nill said as his team skated on Tuesday morning at Air Canada Centre before a 3-1 loss to the Maple Leafs. "We're still there. We're taking it game by game.''
And that's not a cliche. The Stars' trade deadline strategy is hanging by the moment. Either the team rips off a massive run here or Nill will have no choice but to start auctioning off some of his pending unrestricted free agents.
Topping the list would be cagey veteran Patrick Sharp, whose Stanley Cup experience and creative hands could help any contender.
"Who knows what's going to happen?" said Sharp, who'll be a a UFA on July 1. "I'm in the same boat as Jim. I'm focused on Dallas and trying to string together a few wins. You look at our conference. There's a lot of teams saying the same thing, that they feel they're in striking distance of the playoffs and good things can still happen. That's where my focus is now. But obviously I've been around a while. I know what lies ahead if that doesn't happen. But I'm not too worried about it either way.''
from the Dallas Stars,
Dallas Stars Owner and Governor Tom Gaglardi and President, Chief Executive Officer and Alternate Governor Jim Lites today announced that the club has signed General Manager Jim Nill to five-year contract extension. The extension will run through the 2022-23 regular season. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"In just over two years, Jim has helped instill a culture of excellence within our organization and extending that partnership to 2022-23 is vital for the direction of the hockey club," stated Gaglardi. "From the day he stepped into this role, he has displayed tremendous decision-making in the re-tooling of our group and we're excited to build upon the foundation that has been laid. We feel he is one of the best general managers in our League and we are thrilled he is so committed to us."
Nill, 57, is in his third season with the Stars as he was named the team's 11th general manager, and sixth general manager since moving to Dallas, on April 29, 2013. The team currently leads the Western Conference with 62 points on the season with a record of 29-10-4, which marks the best start in franchise history after 43 games played. In his two plus seasons on the job, the club has amassed a record of 110-72-25 and earned a playoff berth in 2013-14.
"Jim Nill was on everyone's short list for a long time and being able to hire to him to lead the hockey department was monumental for the Dallas Stars," said Lites. "He's brought a stability to our franchise and the commitment he's shown by extending his deal five years displays just how confident he is in our young core group of players. He and his wife, Bekki, are our great friends and truly tremendous people. We're lucky to have them as a part of the fabric of the Dallas-Fort Worth area."
from Frank Seravalli of TSN,
TSN: What are you most encouraged about so far during this strong start?
Nill: “Well, I think we’re handling adversity better. We’re more mature in those situations, and I think it’s showing. We can score. We know we can score. But there’s a difference between scoring and being patient with it. The other day (Saturday in Florida), we got behind 2-0 in the first period. In the past, we’d feel like we need to go and get it right back, then all of the sudden it’s 3-0. We’re more patient.”...
TSN: The biggest concern, at least for last year, wasn’t scoring, but keeping pucks out of the net. The Stars were second in goals (261) but 26th in goals against (260). Are we starting to see the early returns from new goaltending coach Jeff Reese with Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen?
Nill: “It’s Jeff and it’s both goalies putting in the work. I think Kari is first to admit that he had a tough year last year. That isn’t Kari Lehtonen (.903 save percentage). We knew he was going to bounce back. That was a commitment he made last summer. It’s also Antti Niemi coming in. Antti is a workhorse. He doesn’t want to leave the ice. I think that’s rubbing off on Kari.”
From ESPN's Scott Burnside:
Such an interesting experiment unfolding in the state of Texas.
The Stars, once a league power before the introduction of a salary cap and the search for a new owner caused some lean years, are looking to reinvent themselves as a Stanley Cup contender.
Ownership is solid under Tom Gaglardi.
Nill, now in his third season at the helm after apprenticing in Detroit for almost two decades, has one of the league's most explosive teams, with defending scoring champ Jamie Benn (the franchise's first Art Ross Trophy winner), Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza.
But after sneaking into the 2013-14 postseason, the Stars could not meet high expectations last season and were plagued by unreliable goaltending and suspect team defense.
Enter Sharp and Chicago Blackhawks teammate Johnny Oduya. The two have five Stanley Cup rings between them. (Well, technically three because both Oduya and Sharp have yet to receive their rings from last June's championship, the third in six years for the dynastic Blackhawks, but expect to later this month in a private ceremony with Chicago officials.)
The additions bring into focus the longstanding question of whether experience is crucial to a team's success.
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Q: How do you feel about entering the third season of your tenure? Is there increased pressure or are you further along with the plan, so maybe you're more comfortable with the organization?
Nill: "I'm not worried about pressure. We've got some of the best players in the world and the NHL, and our job is to win, so we're looking forward to it. We think we have a good thing going here, and we have been patient with our young kids and they're coming along. We've been fortunate enough to make some good trades and sign some good free agents. We're excited about the year. Our expectations are high and they should be."
Q: You have made a lot of changes. How far along are you on where you want to be?
Nill: "There's a process. You can't come in and get a job and expect things to happen overnight. This is the best hockey league in the world and there are 29 other teams trying to win as well. You're not going to find a No. 1 defenseman or a No. 1 centerman overnight. There's a process that has to happen, but I think we're right on pace with where we want to be....
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
While Jim Nill said he is not “shopping” Kari Lehtonen, the Stars general manager on Wednesday admitted that he is intensely studying the goaltending situation with his team.
Reports came out Tuesday that AHL goalie Jussi Rynnas is considering a move to the KHL and that Nill was shopping Lehtonen around the NHL to see if there was interest in a possible trade. Nill said Rynnas is considering a move and that any decision to try to move Lehtonen would be a complicated one.
“We have a lot of decisions to make, and we’re in the process of trying to make them,” Nill said.
Nill has had the professional scouts in Frisco this week studying many aspects of the organization.
CALGARY, Alta. - Hockey Canada announced Wednesday that Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill has been named general manager of Canada's National Men's Team for the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, which will be held in Prague and Ostrava, Czech Republic from May 1 - 17, 2015.
Nill will lead a management group comprised of Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Phoenix, NHL), Claude Loiselle (Ottawa, Ont.), George McPhee (Guelph, Ont.), Pat Verbeek (Sarnia, Ont./Tampa Bay, NHL) and Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), Hockey Canada's vice-president of hockey operations and national teams.
This slid through the radar screen on Friday, and as the Dallas News's Mike Heika reports, this news is pretty devastating for the Stars:
Stars winger Valeri Nichushkin will have hip surgery this week and be out four months, Dallas general manager Jim Nill said Saturday.
Nichushkin has been bothered by hip and groin soreness since September and has come in and out of practices, scrimmages and games. He played two games, missed nine, came back for two more games, and then came out of the lineup again.
“We had it diagnosed, and decided surgery is the best thing,” Nill said. “It’s very similar to what (John) Klingberg had, and we expect it to have similar results.
Klingberg had double hip surgery in the summer and now is up and skating well.
“I didn’t want to do it, I wanted to work on building strength in the summer,” Klingberg said. “But now I feel much better and I am glad I did it.”
Nichushkin was drafted 10th overall in 2013 and played 79 games last season, tallying 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists). He led the Stars at plus-20. This season, he has played just four games and has no points.
Jim Nill talked first about the Dallas Stars then turned it over to Jason Spezza.
from Pat Pickens of Sportsnet,
What do you believe you are getting with Spezza?
He’s an elite hockey player. He’s over a point-per-game player in the NHL. They don’t just fall out of the sky. He’s in the prime of career. He’s a big body, he’s got great hands, great vision. He’s going to help our power play. He’s played in the Stanley Cup playoffs before and the Stanley Cup Final and the world championships. We’re getting an elite player in the prime of his career.
Given how formidable the rest of the Western Conference is, plus the moves others have made, was this a move you felt you had to make to remain competitive?
We knew we had to address that hole in our lineup when I came in here last year. If I didn’t get Spezza, we had to turn to another option. We had Jamie Benn playing centre because we had no other options. It was a hole to get filled, and it turned out well to get Jason Spezza.
How much risk do you associate with this deal, considering Spezza will still be a free agent next summer?
I’m not too worried about the contract. His agent [Rick Curran] and I have spoken, and we’re going to get Jason in here to show him around the area. I’m pretty confident we’re going to get a contract done.
ESPN's Scott Burnside penned a fascinating article about the NHL draft as witnessed through the eyes of general managers and assistant general managers, including Toronto Maple Leafs assistant GM Claude Loiselle, Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen, Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon, Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald and Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill.
Nill suggests that, at some point, the management staff has to relinquish control to the amateur scouting staff and hope for the best:
Nill was at the Detroit draft tables when the Wings repeatedly came up with the proverbial diamonds in the rough: Datsyuk with the 171st pick in 1998; Zetterberg at 210 in 1999; Tomas Holmstrom at 257 in 1994. The Red Wings rarely drafted anywhere near the top of the first round thanks to their winning ways during that time, but the mandate was still the same, Nill said: Find good players who could help the team, no matter where the Wings were drafting.
"Those were special players. But at the time we didn't know that. You don't know it until three or four years down the road," Nill said.
This year's draft will be Nill's second as the GM of the Dallas Stars. It has been a period of evolution for someone who used to be one of the guys who put eyes on hundreds of youngsters at hundreds of games every season. Living in Detroit, he could see junior, college, AHL and NHL games all within a few hours' drive. Not so in Dallas, and his job description precludes those kinds of trips anyway.
Just as longtime Detroit GM Ken Holland had to trust Nill and his scouting staff to identify the right players for the Red Wings, Nill now has to step back and convey that trust to the Stars' staff.
"I had to hand over the reins," Nill said. "If you're going to be a manager, you're going to have to let it go."
from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
Now, with some significant injuries that need to be tended, teams are going to get serious about addressing trades.
While Nill said he doesn’t sense an immediate flood of trades on Monday, he understands the powder keg the trade deadline creates.
“I think it’s going to be slow, but it just takes one team to do something,” Nill said. “We’ll see what happens. It’s very quiet right now. I think teams are going to come back and nobody really knows what they have. Some teams have injuries, some teams could still get injuries. Everyone has three or four games under their belt before the deadline, so I think more things will happen then (closer to the deadline).”
read on for a look at the Dallas Stars at the trade deadline...
DALLAS – Dallas Stars Owner and Governor Tom Gaglardi announced today that he has named Jim Nill the team’s new General Manager at a press conference at American Airlines Center. He will begin his new role immediately, becoming the 11th General Manager in franchise history and sixth since the team moved to Dallas.
“Jim Nill, along with Ken Holland, has been at the core of the Detroit Red Wings front office for nearly two decades and we are extremely excited to secure him as our new General Manager,” said Gaglardi. “Jim’s record in Detroit speaks for itself, contributing to four Stanley Cup championships, as well as drafting and developing some of the league’s best players.
“Jim is universally respected throughout the hockey world and we are very fortunate to have him as our General Manager. We are confident that his leadership, expertise, work ethic and direction will position the club for consistent success once again.”
from an email on behalf of the Nill's,
Thank you for your donation! You have touched a young child's heart and helped to change their life forever. Your donation helped us acheive our goal of over $500,000 which will provide a community of 10,000 people in Zambia with fresh, clean, healthy water for the rest of their lives.
The Marathon was a great day and event, with 1.6 million people lining the streets of Chicago, cheering on the 45,000 runners from all over the world. The run itself was a great experience. My first 18 miles went very well, I found a great pace and stuck with it. The last 5-6 miles was grind as expected. My time for the 26.2 miles was: 4 hours 45 minutes.
It has been a inspirational to witness the change in people as we trained over the last 4 months for this great cause. Our "Northridge Ridge Runners" consisted of 275 people from all walks of live and to see their transformation and committment to this journey was wonderful to watch.
Thank you again for your support!
Bekki & Jim Nill
The Malik Report did a story on this about a week ago, but I thought it would be a good idea to bring up the topic again, especially after I saw the interview the Nill's did with WXYZ in Detroit tonight.
Bekki Nill, Jim's wife is fighting stage 4 liver cancer and he will soon be running in the Chicago Marathon to raise awareness for World Vision (click the link for more information or to make a donation).
from John Hahn of DetroitRedWings.com,
The Red Wings announced today that the team has signed executive vice president and general manager Ken Holland, and vice president and assistant general manager Jim Nill to five-year contract extensions.
“Kenny and Jim have been the core of our front office for well over a decade and cornerstone to this franchise’s success,” Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch said. “Marian and I feel strongly that stability is key to success for any organization and having these new agreements in place with these two top-notch NHL executives is important to the Red Wings’ organization and its future. They are committed professionals and outstanding individuals, and we have great respect for their respective talents. We’re pleased they will continue to lead our hockey club for the next five years.”
Detroit’s assistant GM took part in a chat today at the Detroit Free Press…
Is there any chance you guys are looking at Jason Spezza? I know he’s owed $7 million, but is he a possibility? I think he’d be a great fit.
Jim Nill: We would have to trade one of the following players with a similar cap number-Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Lisdtrom.
Who do you see filling the role of the vacated Brad May? Abby is learning the ropes still, and Bertuzzi may sign elsewhere. Do we have anyone that can “keep the flies off”?
Jim Nill: We are looking at a few unrestricted free agents to fill that role.
review the chat at the Detroit Free Press…
But no indignity, real or rumoured, compares with what Draper’s newborn daughter Kamryn – diaperless – did to the Cup in June.
“A week after we won it, I had my newborn daughter in there and she pooped in the Cup,” said Draper. “That was something. We had a pretty good laugh.
“It was, well, clean it out. I still drank out of it that night, so no worries.”
more on Draper with the Cup in Toronto by Kevin McGrath of the Toronto Star…
Another Morning Line added 7:17am...
via Dave Waddell of the Windsor Star,
As for smaller market teams being forced to spend US$40-million to reach the salary cap floor when they’ve traditionally capped expenditures in the mid-to-low 30s, Nill offers one simple question.
“Isn’t that what revenue sharing is for?” Nill said. “Some teams that normally spent about $32-million are getting an additional $10 to $12 million in revenue sharing. That gets them to the $40-million.”
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Holland was talking about a time, back at the 1999 NHL trading deadline, when he and his assistant, Jim Nill “blew out all those draft picks” in deals to acquire, among others, Wendel Clark and Chris Chelios in a bid to win another Stanley Cup. That didn’t work out.
That night, sitting in a sports bar near his house, seeing his picture on every TV screen, Holland said he turned to Nill and said from then on: “we’ve got to draft defencemen because eventually, when (Steve) Yzerman’s too old and (Brendan) Shanahan’s too old and (Sergei) Fedorov’s gone, how do you stay competitive? If you’re in the top five in goals-against in the league every year, you’ve going to be competitive. You have to be, even if you don’t score a lot. So if you look at our drafts the last six or seven years, all we draft are defencemen. We’ve got lots of kids that we think our close to playing.”