The Malik Report
by George Malik on 03/03/14 at 03:58 PM ET
Former Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill is preparing for his first trade deadline at the helm of his own team, the Dallas Stars, but he gave a thoughtful and insightful interview to the CBC's Doug Harrison, and the interview begins with Nill recollecting how the Chris Chelios trade went down back in 1999--and why it ended up making so much sense for the Wings:
“First of all, whoever thought [Chelios] would leave Chicago, his hometown? At the time, we thought it was about a two-year trade,” Nill, now preparing for his first trade deadline as an NHL GM with Dallas, told CBCSports.ca last week. “We thought [his NHL days were] pretty well done.
“He ended up playing another [nine-plus seasons]. The impact he had in the dressing room and with our younger players, there was so much that went into [our thinking] about acquiring Chris Chelios, the intangibles that [fans] wouldn’t understand.
“[His influence as a leader] in the dressing room, how he prepares [for seasons and games], how professional he is and how it’s all about winning,” Nill added. “It’s those little things that make it one of the largest trades we made at that time.”
That speaks to Chelios as much as it does the Wings management's commitment, but Nill says that the cap era has made the deadline a very different animal:
“It’s an unknown time of the year,” Nill said. “If some teams [make certain moves], other teams are going to react to it. And if it’s different teams that do something, teams won’t react.
“The salary cap has changed [trade possibilities] too. The other part that has changed a lot is the value of [draft] picks. It’s a young man’s game now, you have to have young guys coming up [through your minor league system].”
Nill continues, answering five questions from Harrison, but his answer sounds like something Ken Holland would say.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.