It wasn’t but a few years ago, on July 4th, 2013, that recently acquired General Manager for the Dallas Stars Jim Nill made exceptional changes that would alter the caliber of his team. Nill sent 2011 NHL All-Star Loui Eriksson along with prospects to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverly, and Ryan Button. It was this transaction that propelled a decent Stars team into a good Stars team.
However, what then turned this Stars team from good to very good – now on the verge of great – was the acquisition of veteran forward and two time All-Star, Jason Spezza and the other assets who were gained soon after. Spezza signed a four-year, $30 million extension with the team in 2014.
From then on, Nill proceeded to add the pieces of this very good team to make them a contender for the Stanley Cup. After acquiring Spezza they also added Ales Hemsky as a free agent. He also managed to obtain longtime Buffalo Sabres coach and Jack Adams winner Lindy Ruff in the summer of 2013 to make matters even better.
This past summer was also a busy one for Nill as he acquired three-time and two-time Stanley Cup Champions with the Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya and added goaltender Antti Niemi to add depth in the crease who won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks.
Missing the playoffs in 2014-2015 gave additional motivation going into the summer finishing only two spots out of a Wild Card spot. Now with the key supplements and veteran leadership-especially several players who know what it takes to win a Cup- to mesh with the young talent, this team should have no problem securing a playoff spot.
The only factor that could weigh this team down is the fact they have no distinct number 1 defenseman and their goals against last season, despite their offensive numbers, is what kept them out of a playoff spot. Continue reading