Either Sergei Gonchar is an optimist, or Jim Nill is a very convincing negotiator. Mark Stepneski, from DallasStars.com's Inside Edge, got a chance to talk to the newly acquired defenseman, and was told that Nill convinced Sergei Gonchar to waive his no trade clause and sign a two-year deal with the Dallas Stars by detailing his plans to improve the roster over the summer.
Gonchar specifically said that he was coming to Dallas because he wants to win games, make the playoffs, and take a legitimate run at another Stanley Cup. Even the most optimistic Dallas Stars fan believes that the Stars are at least another season or two away from being legitimate contenders, but you can't expect any player to say they chose their team because the money was right, or they were offered a longer deal.
The most interesting part of his conversation with Stepneski was his reason behind believing that Dallas was his ticket to success. "The most important reason I signed with Dallas is because after I talked to them I find out they are going to sign more players, they are going to improve the team and they are going to do whatever it takes to make that next step. That’s what made me sign with them."
The general consensus around this team for the last few years, and the reasoning behind signing Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney last summer, is that the Stars see their core as being a few seasons away. The young core that the Dallas Stars are building around spent the majority of last season in the AHL, and the veterans were here to keep their spots warm, be role models, and keep the team competitive in the mean time.
With a free agent crop that isn't very impressive by any stretch of the imagination, one has to wonder what acquisitions the Stars have in mind to push them back into contention during Gonchar's two year stay. It's hard to say how much of Gonchar's optimism is legitimate, and how much of it is simply good public relations... but the Stars have shown early during the Gaglardi era that they are not afraid to make a splash and spend some money when they see an opportunity to improve the team long term, or short term.
For once, the Dallas Stars actually have the resources, both financially and in regards to personnel, to make some moves and bring in some big pieces. Sergei Gonchar knows what Jim Nill has planned. It will be very interesting to watch it unfold for ourselves over the next couple months. [Inside Edge]
Something else to watch for in the coming weeks is the Stars coaching search. John Tortorella's name seems to be popping up more and more lately, which actually doesn't upset me as much as it probably should. [ESPN]
Tired of the uniform talk yet? I'm not, but it's one of my interests. The blog over at Icethetics has put up their two-part review of the new logo, uniforms, and the event at which the Stars unveiled them. [Part One] [Part Two]
Much of the talk about the new uniforms has centered around the alteration of the team colors. One of my favorite websites, ColorWerx, has the official pantone information for the new identity, and has converted the new marks to be optimized for RBG color on a computer monitor, rather than textile fabrics. If any of those words made sense to you, click the link. [ColorWerx]
Reports out of Canada say that Montreal's PK Subban is going to be announced as the winner of the Norris Trophy for the NHL's top defenseman. Nick Kypreos claims that Subban will be awarded the trophy during the Stanley Cup Finals... didn't they used to do that during an end of year awards ceremony with the rest of the trophies? [ProHockeyTalk]
Dustin Byfuglien, or "Big Buff" as he is called, is a little more big than he is buff nowadays. Rumors out of Winnipeg say that he finished last season over 300 pounds, and that his weight issues are the main roadblock in trading the forward/defenseman hybrid. Maybe the Stars can hook him up with the same program they gave Kari Lehtonen when he left that franchise, and revitalize his career? [WinnipegFreePress]
Today's video is simply Jim Nill's appearance on Cisco NHL Live. He talks about the coaching search, why he targeted Sergei Gonchar, and what his plans are for the coming season.