The Dallas Stars have hired Jim Nill to be their general manager, reeling in one of the most respected hockey minds in the league from the Detroit Red Wings. The Stars fired former general manager Joe Nieuwendyk on Sunday.
Nill had been with the Red Wings for 19 years, the last 15 of which he spent as an assistant general manager. Nill headed the Red Wings' scouting department, managed their drafts and was the general manager of the Adirondack Red Wings, while also overseeing the Grand Rapids Griffins. In his time with the Red Wings, they were the league's most successful franchise, winning four Stanley Cups and six Presidents' Trophies.
Nill has long drawn praise from people around the league for his scouting abilities and has been considered one of the top general manager candidates for several years. A year ago, the Montreal Canadiens offered him their general manager job, but Nill passed.
The Stars haven't been to the playoffs in five years, but it doesn't appear as if Nieuwendyk's firing was as much about him as it was being able to get Nill. Now they have their man, and the man several other teams have tried unsuccessfully to hire for years.
It is unclear whether Nill will retain head coach Glen Gulutzan, who is 64-57-9 in two seasons with the Stars. The team holds an option on his contract for next season.