NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.
Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill and coach Lindy Ruff are determined to do a lot more than just have their team qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs each season.
That feat was accomplished last season, their first together in Dallas, and snapped a streak of five straight non-playoff appearances. However, the two have bigger goals in mind.
The Stars earned the second Western Conference wild-card spot last season with 40 wins and 91 points. Nill's acquisition of Tyler Seguin in a trade with the Boston Bruins played a big part in that; Seguin led the Stars in goals (37), assists (47), points (84), power-play goals (11) and game-winning goals (eight) while playing top minutes at center.
"There were some battles during the year," Nill said. "It looked like they were going the wrong way at times and they fought through that and I think that prepared them for the run to get into the playoffs. Then they got in the playoffs and realized how close they were to advancing; how close, but how far. We were one overtime from going to a Game 7 [against the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference First Round] and maybe moving on.