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Stars sign general manager Nill to five-year extension

by Steve Hunt

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill has signed a five-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2022-23 season.

"We got a great staff here," said Nill, who was hired in April 2013. "We're in a good spot right now. We want to keep it strong. I think anything you do in life, I think [you want] consistency, knowing that there's a base there, your base or your foundation's very important. You look at successful organizations, that's how they operate and that's what we're getting to."

The Stars (29-10-4) lead the Western Conference with 62 points and are off to their best start through 43 games.

In his first offseason, Nill hired Lindy Ruff as coach and made a trade with the Boston Bruins to bring in forward Tyler Seguin, who this season is tied for the NHL lead with 24 goals and third with 51 points.

The next year, Nill acquired veteran center Jason Spezza in a trade with the Ottawa Senators, and last summer Dallas acquired forward Patrick Sharp from the Chicago Blackhawks and signed goaltender Antti Niemi and defenseman Johnny Oduya as free agents. Sharp, Niemi and Oduya won the Stanley Cup in Chicago.

Dallas is 110-72-5 since Nill arrived and reached the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"He's done a terrific job. I can't tell you how impressed I am. Nothing ceases to amaze me after 30 years in the business, and Jim Nill is as good as I have ever worked with," Stars president Jim Lites said. "And I have worked with great general managers in Detroit and here in Dallas."

Nill also has the respect of Ruff and his players.

"[What's impressed me most is] just his relationship with everybody in the organization, with players, coaches," Ruff said. "The way he treats people, I think everything's first class."

Nill spent 15 seasons as an assistant general manager with the Detroit Red Wings. He said he wanted to create a family atmosphere in Dallas among the entire organization.

"I think it's obviously well-deserved," Seguin said. "I think he's so involved with everyone, with everyone's family and everyone's wives. He's an ultimate guy and the ultimate GM, so obviously happy he's going to be here for a while."

Nill is pleased with what he's achieved but acknowledges there is plenty to be done, namely bringing the Stanley Cup back to Dallas for the first time since 1999.

"We're a good team. The core of our team is still young, I think they're going to get better. We have some great veteran leadership," Nill said. "We're going to be a better team than we are today and I like where we're at. We haven't got there yet and that's the challenge with this group."

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