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The Malik Report

Record-Eagle’s Cook: Jim Nill’s embracing a new challenge with the Stars

I haven't had the opportunity to speak with Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill as he's busy watching his team and I'm busy covering the one you sent me up to watch, but the Traverse City Record-Eagle's James Cook managed to snag an interview with Nill, and the former Red Wings assistant GM is very happy in his new position:

"It's been great," Nill said. "We've got a great staff down there, some great, young kids. I'm just anxious to get the season going. It's a big change. It's all change. I'm coming from a great organization. I've been lucky I've been in an organization that has done it right all these years — and I've learned from that. That's what I'm trying to create in Dallas. I've got a lot of work to do. And if I can have a quarter of the success they've had here, I'll be happy."

The Stars are 14 years away from their first — and only — Stanley Cup win in the 1998-99 season. Dallas hasn't made the playoffs since 2007-08 — when they were eliminated by Nill's Red Wings in six games in the conference finals — and have finished fifth in the Pacific Division in three of the last four years.

"I've been taught by some great people here," Nill said. "I've learned from some great people. And we've had success here. I'm trying to create that same environment and winning attitude. That's my goal. I'm taking what I've learned here and trying to replicate that in Dallas."

Two weeks after he was hired, Nill fired coach Glen Gulutzan and assistant coach Paul Jerrard.

"We made a coaching change right away," Nill said. "We brought in Lindy Ruff and his staff. James Patrick and Kurt Fraser used to be in Grand Rapids with me. So we've got a great coaching staff. We made a couple trades early in June and free agency. We've got a different team coming into this season — and we've excited about that."


The Stars — who many think is one of the best teams at this year's Prospect Tournament — are 1-1 going into today's final pool play games. The Red Wings are 2-0 and have the most points with six, looking poised to meet Buffalo in Monday's title game if Detroit can get past 1-1 St. Louis tonight.

"Detroit's got a very good team," Nill said. "Buffalo's good. You've got to go out and do it. There's some good teams here."

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About The Malik Report

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.