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GM Nill thinks AHL Texas’ success will carry to Dallas

Jun 15, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

Jim Nill Getty Images

For the Dallas Stars, the fact that they even made the playoffs in 2014 was a victory. Their AHL affiliates, the Texas Stars, had more ambitious goals.

For the second straight year, Texas finished atop the Western Conference standings and they have a 2-1 series lead over the St. John’s IceCaps in the Calder Cup Final. Dallas GM Jim Nill thinks it’s only a matter of time before Texas’ success rubs off on Dallas.

“Winning is contagious,” Nill said, per the Dallas Morning News. “We talk all the time about building a winning culture, and this is a big part of that.”

Nill believes in building through the draft and the importance of having a well-run AHL club to help develop that talent, which isn’t surprising given his background with the Detroit Red Wings. He also cited the proximity between the two Stars teams as an aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked.

“These players need to know you’re watching,” Nill said. “They need to know you’re watching when they do good things; they need to know you’re watching when they do bad things.”

The Stars’ AHL affiliate used to be in Iowa, but has played in Austin since the 2009-10 campaign. In the Texas Stars’ five-season history, they have made the playoffs four times and have advanced to the Calder Cup Final twice.

  1. afrancis55 - Jun 15, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    He has good reason to believe so, the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL affiliate for Tampa has had great success the last couple of years and now the Bolts are looking to be pretty strong for the foreseeable future in part due to the young core called up from Syracuse.

  2. djshnooks - Jun 15, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    I’ll one up that first comment…just look at Lindy Ruff’s best teams in Buffalo.

    #1) Brian Holzinger, Donald Audette, Derek Plante, Curtis Brown, Mike Peca, Matt Barnaby, Rob Ray, Brad May, Randy Burridge, Randy Cunneyworth, etc.

    #2) Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, Ryan Miller, Paul Gaustad, Henrik Tallinder, Jay McKee, Derek Roy, Patrick Kaleta, etc.

    Both teams that Lindy Ruff built and took pretty far in Buffalo, they all started growing and building together in (AHL) Rochester.

    The first team I believe won a Calder Cup together, then they came to Buffalo together and within a year or two they took the team to the Stanley Cup Finals, ironically losing to Dallas. (No Goal! Lol.)

    The second team darn near did the same exact thing, but they didn’t win a Calder Cup in Rochester. But, once they came up, I think it was the next year they ended up losing to Carolina in the ECF, in 2006.

    There is no doubt this is the way to build a competitive team in the NHL if you want to contend for a title every year. You build through the draft, keep your good players and develop them, and use free agency/trades to then put you over the top.

    This is why I’m happy with Tim Murray as GM of the Sabres, he shares the same philosophy, and showed as much in Anaheim and Ottawa. Now he gets to run his own show…and I’m glad that’s how he thinks he can build a winner in Buffalo. Like he said, you need to hit on your 1st round picks, but your 2nd and 3rd rounders are where you will make your money down the road when it comes to the playoffs.

    Compare that with Tallon in Florida who said all he cares about it the two 1st rounders. That’s not the right mentality to have when it comes to building a team.

    I look forward to seeing Lindy Ruff having another excellent team to work with. He still calls Buffalo “home,” so he’s still one of our own, and he always will be a “Buffalonian.”

    I also look forward to seeing Tim Murray put together a team in Rochester to compete with Texas, and a team in Buffalo who can hopefully someday meet Dallas back in the Stanley Cup Finals…again with Lindy Ruff coming up a little short! Lol. :-p

    The draft can’t get here soon enough!

  3. nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 15, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Now you might think that to promote minor league hockey, the NHL Network would show these Finals. According to their online listings, you’d be wrong. But according to the AHL website, you can watch Monday’s game online… for $13. Seriously?

    • einjzmolf - Jun 15, 2014 at 11:14 PM

      Game one was on NHL Network, and the rest of the games are being broadcast here (Dallas,) I don’t know if they’ll all be on NHL Network, but flip it on when the game comes on tomorrow, it may just not be listed. Go Stars!

    • nj666 - Jun 16, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      the price for AHL live is crazy, it makes nhl game center seem reasonably priced…

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        I just spoke with a helpful fellow at the NHL Network. They will not be showing the AHL playoff game tonight. So unless the AHL immediately drops its price by about, oh, $13, they will have to muddle by without my rapt attention to the game.

  4. blomfeld - Jun 15, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    JIM NILL = NERD X 10 !!!

    also commonly referred to as a ‘patsy’ … a la Lee Harvey Oswald or Jack Ruby

    The bottom line is that Nill and crew should go back to their grassy knoll and get out some fans in-order to get rid of the ‘damning’ smoke emanating from their cowardly position !

    *** an LA Kings ‘celebratory’ dance happening ‘right now’ in New Delhi ! ***

  5. djshnooks - Jun 16, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    At least it’s not as expensive as the CHL live broadcast…sure you got to see whatever game you wanted, by $120 for junior hockey telecasts? That is crazy.

    But, yeah…$13 is about as much as a playoff ticket to the Amerks 1st round! lol.

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