The Dallas Stars got into the playoffs much more comfortably this year than last. Instead of sweating out a wild card spot in the final week of the season, they clinched an automatic berth with Central’s number two seed.

Negotiated with Oettinger and Robertson

Before the 108-point season started, Nill had two guys to keep in Dallas. If the Stars wanted to ensure consecutive playoff appearances, they were going to need Jake Oettinger and Jason Roberson. They were signed at a bridge deal apiece, and Oettinger signed a three-year agreement on September 1st last year.

Robertson was the next to get signed. While he missed training camp, it clearly did not hurt the performance of the 109-point man. Robo was signed late at night on October 5th. Nill knew he had to keep both superstars but had to negotiate based on the salary cap business. Outstanding leadership was shown to sign both of the best Stars in the nick of time.

Improved the team at the trade deadline

After February, the beginning of the end of Dallas’ central division titles hopes, Nill went to work. He learned from mistakes in the past and improved the roster. After going 3-3-3 in such an important month, Nill sprung into action.

Highlighting a “B+” 2023 TDL was acquiring Max Domi. He is a depth-scoring center that isn’t afraid to stick up to guys like Matt Dumba, who put on late hits on his fellow teammates. Son of Toronto Maple Leafs Tie Domi, like father like son, Domi makes appearances on both the score sheet and will throw fists when needed.

Acquiring Evgenii Dadonov from the Montreal Canadians for a Denis Gurianov who needed a reset was a deal that worked for all parties. Guri needed a team that would suit him better, and the Stars got a veteran in Dadonov that can and does score timely goals.

The argument for GM of the year

With the extensions given out to two of their best players in the fall and the improvements made at the trade deadline, Nill should be considered GM of the year. Dallas has been consistently good for all of 2023 (much like their 2016 campaign), in a playoff spot from game 1 to game 82.

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The Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year award will be announced this summer. Don Maloney of the then-Phoenix Coyotes was the first recipient of the honor in 2010. If Nill wins the award, he will become the first in franchise history to win it.

Featured Image: Dallas Morning News

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