Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill has established himself among the best general managers in today’s NHL.
Piecing together a team brick by brick and molding them into a yearly contender.

By the time the trade deadline came and went, Nill had only made one major move.

Fast forward to the Western Conference finals; that was all he needed to do.

The Missing Piece

The news is everywhere, surrounding the Stars and sealing up the crack in the armor that was a bonafide defensive defenseman who Stars’ coach Pete DeBoer could put against the opponent’s best.

Adding Tanev very well could be the difference between consecutive years in the Conference Finals or a first-round exit.

Deboer notices the impact:

“He’s been a huge addition,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said.

“We needed a defenseman, and I think he was at the top of our list.  He’s dramatically impacted our group.”

Props From the Team

The best compliments a defenseman can get from his team probably come from the goalies.

Stars’ goalie Jake Oettinger was amongst the team who had high praise for the gritty defenseman.

“He’s probably the best defensive defenseman I’ve ever played with in my life,” the Stars goalie said of Tanev via NHL.com.”

Continuing their series against the high-powered Edmonton Oilers, the Stars will need world-class defense if they want to reach the Stanley Cup finals.

Dallas is also hoping that great defense will open up the offense to help win this series.

Playoff Tough

Many people will say you’re not really a hockey player until you start losing your teeth. In game five of the series, playing against Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche, Tanev took a hit from the power forward and left the game suddenly. He did come back a little bit later in the game.

It turned out that Tanev had his tooth pulled during the game after taking a hit from MacKinnon’s shoulder.

Adding to the age old adage that hockey players are tough, come across tooth problems, and are crazy.
They are precisely the kind of guys you want on your roster come the postseason.

PHOTO: Dallas Stars

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