With the Dallas Stars leading the Western Conference through 43 games this season, general manager Jim Nill was rewarded Friday with a five-year contract extension.
As revealed in an official press release by the organization, the 57-year-old Nill is now slated to remain in his position through the 2022-23 season, although financial terms were not disclosed.
Stars owner Tom Gaglardi was extremely complimentary of Nill and credited him with helping the Stars develop into one of the NHL's elite teams:
In just over two years, Jim has helped instill a culture of excellence within our organization and extending that partnership to 2022-23 is vital for the direction of the hockey club. From the day he stepped into this role, he has displayed tremendous decision-making in the re-tooling of our group and we're excited to build upon the foundation that has been laid. We feel he is one of the best general managers in our League and we are thrilled he is so committed to us.
Nill happily accepted the extension and expressed his desire to take the Stars to new heights in the coming years:
First and foremost, I want to thank the Gaglardi family and (Team President) Jim Lites for their commitment to what we are building. I've said over and over again, just how special of a group we have here in Dallas, and developing and maintaining a winning organization is something I look forward to over the next seven years. My wife, Bekki, and I love the area and we truly call it our home.
Since taking over as GM prior to the 2013-14 season, the Stars have been on the rise. They reached the playoffs in 2014, narrowly missed out last year and are now in contention to win the Presidents' Trophy as the top team in the regular season.
Stars broadcaster Bruce LeVine believes locking up Nill was a no-brainer considering the manner in which he has reshaped the roster:
Remember the level of talent on the roster when Jim Nill took over and where the team is today, 5 yrs seems appropriate for NHL's best GM— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) January 8, 2016
Among Nill's biggest moves have been the acquisition of forwards Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and Patrick Sharp, who have combined with Jamie Benn to make the Stars the NHL's highest-scoring team.
He also hired Lindy Ruff as head coach after his firing by the Buffalo Sabres, which is a decision that has started to pay big dividends.
The Stars are in position to be Stanley Cup contenders for a long time to come due to the talent and youth on their roster, and Nill is chiefly responsible for that fact.
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