Skip to content

Stars GM: ‘We’re putting hockey back on the map’

Jul 1, 2014, 11:15 PM EDT

Anaheim Ducks v Dallas Stars - Game Six Getty Images

By playing to the strengths of young forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, the Dallas Stars were already a fun team to watch in 2013-14. Imagine how thrilling that club can be by adding Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky to the mix?

Let’s just say, it would be pretty sad if such an exciting group played to empty crowds in Dallas. GM Jim Nill believes that they’ve gotten the sometimes-fickle market’s attention with these moves.

“Well, I think we’re putting hockey back on the map here. I think Dallas is a great hockey town,” Nill said. “You look back to when they were in their heydays, when they won the Cup and that Dallas was as good a city anywhere in the world for hockey, and I think we’re getting back there … I think there are going to be some special things happening here.”

Take a look at the Stars’ attendance numbers since the 2004-05 season was canceled, according to


Perhaps the 2014 postseason run already heightened expectations, but if nothing else, it sounds like Nill & Co. are being aggressive enough to make big waves. Ales Hemsky’s explanation for joining the Stars says a lot:

“Yeah, we talked a lot the last month,” Hemsky told Defending Big D. “They showed the most interest. They have a great team with Jamie Benn and Seguin and now adding Jason Spezza, it’s a great fit for me. Finally I can enjoy hockey again and that’s a great city too. I’m really excited.”

Stars fans should share that excitement.

  1. mnwildfan15 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    The Division of Death is going to be fun this year.

  2. lordfletcher - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    Never would have thought attendance would be over 15k…

    Any who, Dallas looks like they’ll compete for the 6-9 seed in the West pending conference injuries.

  3. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:11 AM

    I’ve posted on a couple threads on how the toughest division int he NHL just got better. Here’s a scary thing – 3 teams still have material cap space after today’s deals:

    Stars 8.6 mil
    Aves 10.3
    Wild 13.4

    Unfortunately, the HAwks are 2.2 OVER at this point. But considering all the revenue sharingthe Hawks contribute, along with a positive impact on TV ratings and attendance wherever they play on the road, would it not be a reasonable thing to get a modest 3 mil cap exemption;))

    • pfhockey - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:26 AM

      Not such thing as cap exemption, they’ll likely trade Versteeg before the season starts.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:49 AM

        Guy, I was KIDDING. Of course there is no eception. If they can trade Versteeg, great, otherwise it’s time for the Hawks to admit they made huge mistake and waive him.

        May be at that place with Roz. He’s contributed, and slowing.

    • avfanforlife - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      Av’s 10.3 but that is before RO’R gets signed – gonna take over half of that for sure. (how much over 1/2 of that tbd.)

      • tru2joelu4eva - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:33 AM

        barrie needs a contract too

    • darksidecowboy - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      that’s what bandwagon fan do, we’ll be seeing the same thing in Dallas

    • darksidecowboy - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      that’s what bandwagon fans do, we’ll be seeing the same thing in Dallas

  4. blomfeld - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:18 AM


    November 22, 1963 @ Dallas TX

    A person popularly dubbed the “umbrella man” has been the object of much speculation, as he was the only person seen carrying and opening an umbrella on that sunny day. He was also one of the closest bystanders to President John F. Kennedy when Kennedy was first struck by a bullet. As Kennedy’s limousine approached, the man opened up and lifted the umbrella high above his head, then spun or panned the umbrella from east to west (clockwise) as the president passed by him. In the aftermath of the assassination, the “umbrella man” sat down on the sidewalk next to another man before getting up and walking towards the Texas School Book Depository.

    Early speculation came from assassination researchers Josiah Thompson and Richard Sprague who noticed the open umbrella in a series of photographs. Thompson and Sprague suggested that the “umbrella man” may have been acting as a signaler of some kind, opening his umbrella to signal “go ahead” and then raising it to communicate “fire a second round”. The “umbrella man” is depicted as performing such a role in Oliver Stone’s film JFK. Another theory proposed by Robert Cutler and endorsed by Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty is that the umbrella may have been used to fire a dart with a paralyzing agent at Kennedy to immobilize his muscles and make him a “sitting duck” for an assassination. (Charles Senseney, who developed weaponry for the CIA at Fort Detrick, Maryland, told the Senate Intelligence Committee, in 1975, that such an umbrella weapon was in the hands of the CIA in 1963.)

    executive summary: umbrella man was nothing more than a ‘forward’ target assessment officer

  5. blynasty - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:41 AM

    I thought Seguin was only a good hockey player when his line was the only line producing. He will be back to his Boston days in no time.

    • guitarhunterdude - Jul 2, 2014 at 1:13 AM

      Wait…so you’re saying Seguin was only good because the Stars’ other lines were bad?

      I’m confused and intrigued.

  6. pj608 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    Good for Dallas…. they were always an under rated club in my book.

    • pj608 - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:14 AM

      Wow… how can you hate on Dallas? Derian Hatcher, Brett Hull, Mike Modano, Marty Turco, Ed Belfour, Sergei Zubov, Joe Nieuwendyk, Jamie Benn, and Tyler Seguin? Thats just to name a few stars through out the years and I am not even a Dallas Stars Fan.

      • lordfletcher - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:53 AM

        A lot of Minnesotans can hate…

        1. Obvious reason
        2. Now div rival
        3. Stupid outdoor game opponent

        I’m really starting to hate Colorado and Dallas…. And I’m happy, need rivals

      • pj608 - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Eh, yeah but you cant forget the players, I am a devils fan and I cant even bash a guy like Lundqvist. I’ll bash Rick Trash and Brad Richards all day but you have to appreciate the talent other players have.

  7. gunwin77 - Jul 2, 2014 at 1:14 AM

    Last year I remember a considerable debate on forums such as this as to who owned the title as “toughest division in the nhl”. Most of that debate was focused between the pacific and central divisions. Personally, I gave the edge to the pacific division, and I still believe that that was the strongest division last year. After today’s free agent frenzy, however, I feel that it is safe to say the central has climbed to the top of the list (at least on paper). I think this year’s divisional rankings will have a stronger consensus: #1 Central, #2 Pacific, #3 Atlantic, #4 Metropolitan. Does anyone disagree?

  8. trbowman - Jul 2, 2014 at 1:42 AM

    Lol, Ottawa sucks.

    Hemsky and Spezza were terrific together last season.

    • trbowman - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:01 AM

      Ottawa is worse off than Buffalo right now, honestly. They are a team trying to contend on a budget with a cheapskate owner. Good luck with that. Their beat writers are largely idiot trolls and the management does a great job disrespecting their own players.

      I have no doubt they lowballed Alfredsson last off-season given their owner would have a hard time ponying up for a McDonald’s dollar menu meal.

      Ottawa fans deserve better.

      • darksidecowboy - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        hoping for #1 pick perhaps? then eventually lowball McDavid?

  9. gbatap - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:14 AM

    Was. The AAC was probably the loudest building in the playoffs last year. Even louder than the Mad House. Safe to say people in Dallas are excited about hockey again.

  10. Simon Says Sport - Jul 2, 2014 at 4:08 AM

    It’s a shame they wear jelly bean jerseys. They should never have changed to this hideous green and logo.

  11. gallyhatch - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    I don’t know that I would be all that psyched if my team was in the toughest division in hockey.

    Sure, the regular season should be very exciting, and the playoff race will be amazing. But advancing to the conference finals will be that much harder considering that the new playoff format stays within each division for the 1st two rounds, therefore there is no re-seeding.

    For an outside fan looking in, it’s great excitement (the 1st round series between the Blues & Blackhawks was phenomenal this year) but it’s nothing short of gut wrenching for the fans of those teams. Whichever team from the central advances to the WCF will likely have just been through 2 grueling rounds of hockey, and still only half way to the ultimate goal.

    This isn’t meant to rain on anyone’s parade, if anything I’m jealous of all these other teams making big free agency splashes. I can’t wait for the season to start.

  12. illogic87 - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    South States and West coast States don’t really deserve hockey teams in my opinion. Noone there plays hockey, they are the ultimate bandwagon cities. Move them all to the northern and eastern states and canada. Where people actually play and like hockey.

    • Jonestein - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Your screen name says it all.

    • darksidecowboy - Jul 2, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      come to Texas and we’ll show how we play hockey, you’ll be looking for your chiclets in 5 seconds!

      • illogic87 - Jul 3, 2014 at 8:50 AM

        Haha, I know. I was kidding anyway. Obviously there are indoor rinks in todays world.

  13. purpleguy - Jul 2, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    As long as the Cowboys and Mavericks suck, the Stars have a fighting chance.

  14. garyeyee - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    I love hockey but it is a bush league because of the idiots who run it.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1732)
  2. P. Kane (1253)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1219)
  4. M. Richards (1070)
  5. M. Giordano (1068)