A little less than a day after the rumors of the next Dallas Stars general manager broke, Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi confirmed that the Stars will now be guided by Jim Nill.
Nill, who spent the previous 19 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, is expected to be officially introduced as Stars GM at an 11 a.m. press conference on Monday.
Both Mike Heika and Mark Stepneski have the confirmation from Gaglardi, with Heika revealing how the presence of Jim Lites in the Stars organization may have helped lure Nill to Dallas.
Nill has turned down recent offers, including one from Montreal. However, the influence of Stars CEO Jim Lites was able to persuade Nill to consider the Stars.
"I think it definitely opened some doors," Gaglardi said. "Obviously, Jim Lites is a big fan of Jim Nill, and so am I."
Lites spent 11 years as the Red Wings chief operating officer before he joined the Stars in 1993, which means he and Nill were never actually coworkers in Detroit. However, Lites' son Sam is currently a Red Wings scout.
Nill joined the Red Wings as a scout in 1994 and worked his way up to the assistant general manager position by 1998. He is the man primarily responsible for the drafting and player development side of the Red Wings organization.
Gaglardi added that the general manager move was more about the replacement than removing Joe Nieuwendyk from the position. The Stars confirmed that Nieuwendyk had been relieved of his duties this morning.
"I think it is more so about the opportunity to get Jim Nill than it is about Joe. Once I realized that Jim Nill was prepared to come to Dallas and I think you can go to what is probably the most successful franchise in the National Hockey League – 22 consecutive NHL playoff appearances and four Stanley Cups over that tenure – and we have a chance to get one of the key guys from there, I think that is too good an opportunity to pass up. I think Jim is going to be able to give our organization some fresh thinking and the best opportunity to get better."
We'll obviously have more analysis on this move and what it could mean for the organization as the week moves on. For now, we'd like to officially welcome Jim Nill and his family to Dallas and the organization. May it be a very, very fruitful relationship.