Dallas Stars: Jim Nill Could Make It Four Straight Huge Summers

Dec 19, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza (90) and left wing Patrick Sharp (10) and center Tyler Seguin (91) celebrate Sharp
Dec 19, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza (90) and left wing Patrick Sharp (10) and center Tyler Seguin (91) celebrate Sharp /

Jim Nill has made the Dallas Stars better with huge trades in the past three summers. He’ll have the chance to acquire another big piece come July.

It’s no secret that the Dallas Stars are in their current position because of the moves GM Jim Nill has made in the past few summers. Go back to the end of the 2012-13 season. The Stars had missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year after a 22-22-4 lockout-shortened season. In April, they brought Nill aboard in order to change up their franchise and get it rolling in the right direction again. He began a stretch of three straight summer blockbusters with his trade for Tyler Seguin on July 4, 2013. The Stars had to say goodbye to a fan favorite in Loui Eriksson as well as prospects Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser. In return, they received Seguin, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button. In the following season, we saw Seguin and Jamie Benn develop chemistry on the ice which led to a breakout year for Seguin and his best to date (37 goals, 47 assists). After a trip to the playoffs and a first round exit, the Stars focused on the summer of 2014, where another huge trade was looming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms2Z4h3oA7k On July 1, 2014, Nill made the team even better by trading Alex Chiasson, Alex Guptil, Nick Paul and a second round pick for Jason Spezza and Ludwig Karlsson. Spezza’s impact was almost immediate. Serving as the center for the second line, his power play skills and incredible passing gave the Stars a certain edge to their game that they hadn’t seen in a while. The team would go on to earn one more point than they did in 2013-14 but would ultimately miss the playoffs, proving that there was still work to be done on the roster.

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On July 10, 2015, Nill pulled one of the most unexpected trades of the summer, dealing

Trevor Daley


Ryan Garbutt

to the Chicago Blackhawks for

Patrick Sharp


Stephen Johns

. That proved to be the final piece that the Stars needed as they elevated their game to the level of a true contender, going 50-23-9 and winning the Central Division with the most points in the Western Conference (109). Now, with a second round loss to the Blues in the books, the Dallas Stars could face perhaps one last crucial summer that could truly change their franchise. While it won’t be mandatory for Nill to make another huge summer trade, the idea is still alive with help needed in a couple of key positions. First of all, there’s the goalie position. After an average outing in the playoffs, both

Kari Lehtonen


Antti Niemi

received some criticism from fans and experts alike. Some thought Nill would attempt to buy one of them out or trade one for a new starter, but it appears as if he’s determined to stay the course with the goaltenders he has (

via SportsDay


"If you take the entire season, the results were very positive. They both won 25 games. Kari only lost 13 total games on the year. You can’t just disregard that.”"

Nill went on to say that the team always has their “eyes open to improving every aspect” of the locker room, suggesting that he might potentially pull the trigger on a deal if the right one came along. The other position to keep an eye on is defenseman. With Alex Goligoski, Jason Demers, Kris Russell and Jordie Benn all hitting the free agent market this summer, the Stars could be looking for another big talent. They’ll obviously bring up some of their younger players next season, but they’ll likely need at least one more proven NHL defenseman to possibly pair with John Klingberg, as his partner, Goligoski, could be on the move. That opens up the scenario of potentially making another huge trade this summer to bring in a defenseman that solidifies the top two pairings for the Stars, as Johnny Oduya and Stephen Johns could still play as the second pairing.

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With uncertainty hovering over a few positions, Jim Nill could head back to the trade market for one last blockbuster this summer. It could be the final piece the Dallas Stars need to put together a run at the Cup.