Skip to content

Could Dallas be a big player this week?

Jun 26, 2014, 10:39 AM EDT

Jim Nill Getty Images

For all the rumors and speculation being bandied about, things have been awfully quiet out of Dallas over the last week or so.

And perhaps that’s intentional.

Last year, his first on the job, Stars GM Jim Nill let his actions to the talking — he acquired the rights to Sergei Gonchar and inked him to a $10 million deal, orchestrated the Tyler Seguin blockbuster and acquired Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff within weeks of being on the job.

The result? Dallas made the playoffs for the first time in five seasons and Nill received four first-place votes as NHL GM of the Year.

Nill should be watched with great interest as he readies for an encore performance. Calgary GM Brad Treliving has already tabbed this as “volatile of a draft week as we’ve seen in recent memory,” and it’s clear all 30 NHL clubs hold the potential to do something big.

Earlier this week, PHT spoke with Jarret Bousquet of Titan Management, the agent for Dallas defenseman Brenden Dillon and forward Cody Eakin. While he did confirm he’s spoken with Nill about new deals for both clients — Dillon and Eakin are pending RFAs — it sounds as though extensions aren’t imminent as the Stars are intently focused on the draft and UFAs right now.

Makes sense, given how Dallas is positioned at the moment.

Nill’s spent this offseason mostly clearing the decks — he used one of the club’s two compliance buyouts on defenseman Aaron Rome and informed veterans Ray Whitney and Tim Thomas they wouldn’t be brought back. The Stars also made an offer to versatile center Vern Fiddler, which was rejected as he plans to test free agency.

As such, Dallas now has 15 players under contract for next season at around $48 million — meaning it has roughly $22 million in available space. Nill has played coy about what sort of budget he’s working with (“We’re not a cap team or a floor team,” he told the Dallas Morning News) and it’s clear from last summer he’s got the green light to be aggressive and make big moves.

At this point, it’s probably worth mentioning the guy who signs Nill’s cheques — Dallas owner Tom Gaglardi. This past year was Gaglardi’s first full 82-game season as owner since purchasing the club in November of 2011 and while snapping the club’s playoff drought pleased him, Gaglardi sees it more as the first step in turning things around. He hasn’t been shy about doing whatever it takes to accelerate that process — from the new uniforms to aggressive ticket marketing plans to reconnecting with the club’s history (remember the epic Mike Modano jersey retirement ceremony?) — and he re-iterated as much following the team’s opening-round loss to Anaheim.

“It was a special moment, because I know how important it is to make the playoffs, and the fans know that too,” Gaglardi explained. “That’s the first step, and you want to take it as soon as possible, because everything gets accelerated after that.”

So yeah. Maybe keep an eye on Dallas this week.

Latest Posts
  1. Johnston: Teammates need to do more to help Crosby

    Aug 28, 2014, 9:33 PM EDT

    Sidney Crosby Getty Images

    The new coach wants the Penguins to ‘lessen the load.’

  2. Poll: Will the Sabres surprise critics this season?

    Aug 28, 2014, 7:11 PM EDT

    Tyler Myers Getty Images

    They have a lot of players on their roster with something to prove.

  3. Ryan White has surgery on pectoralis muscle

    Aug 28, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT

    Ryan White Getty Images

    There’s no timetable for his return.

  4. Under Pressure: Mikhail Grigorenko

    Aug 28, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT

    Mikhail Grigorenko Getty Images

    The former first round pick is entering the last season of his entry-level contract.

  5. NBC’s Dan Patrick: NHL to Vegas by 2016

    Aug 28, 2014, 2:29 PM EDT

    Las Vegas Getty Images

    Arizona or Carolina could relocate according to the host.

  6. No contract talks between Milano and Blue Jackets

    Aug 28, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 Getty Images

    Milano clears the air on deal with Columbus.

  7. AHL gets drug testing program

    Aug 28, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

    AHL logo

    To be implemented for 2014-15 season.

  8. Video: Ducks’ Ryan Kesler’s hilarious Ice Bucket Challenge

    Aug 28, 2014, 12:09 PM EDT

    Ryan Kesler AP

    Calls out former coaches Marc Crawford, Alain Vigneault and John Tortorella

  9. Looking to make the leap: Sam Reinhart

    Aug 28, 2014, 11:12 AM EDT

    Sam Reinhart AP

    After a solid junior career, hopes to make the Sabres as an 18-year-old.

  10. Report: Tomas Kaberle ‘in line’ to attend Devils’ camp

    Aug 28, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

    Tomas Kaberle AP

    Last appeared in 10 games with the Montreal Canadiens during the 2012-13 season.

  11. Ex-NHLer Poeschek faces assault charge

    Aug 28, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Court House

    He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 9.

  12. It’s Buffalo Sabres day on PHT

    Aug 28, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Cody Hodgson Getty Images

    They’re in the middle of a rebuilding process.

  13. Eichel, like McDavid, will showcase his skills in Buffalo this fall

    Aug 27, 2014, 10:49 PM EDT

    Jack Eichel Getty Images

    Of course, neither will be wearing a Sabres’ uniform – not yet at least.

  14. Boston extends affiliation with Providence, Pandolfo named development coach

    Aug 27, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

    Jay Pandolfo Getty Images

    They’ve also appointed Don Sweeney as the AHL team’s new general manager.

  15. Poll: Was 13-14 a fair representation of what Detroit was capable of?

    Aug 27, 2014, 8:28 PM EDT

    Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg Getty Images

    It matters given that they will start next season with a largely unchanged roster.

  16. Alfredsson’s future remains uncertain with camp looming

    Aug 27, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

    Daniel Alfredsson Getty Images

    Ken Holland hasn’t been in contact with him lately, but that will change soon.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Price (1906)
  2. J. Harding (1892)
  3. M. Staal (1750)
  4. J. Giguere (1687)
  5. J. Thornton (1493)
  1. A. Ekblad (1407)
  2. B. Bishop (1333)
  3. J. Spezza (1301)
  4. A. Semin (1292)
  5. C. Anderson (1266)