The Dallas Stars will have a continued presence at the top of their front office organizational chart for the time being, as Jim Nill has been given a one-year contract extension that runs through 2023-24. Stars owner Tom Gaglardi released the following statement:
Jim has done tremendous work in his nine years since joining the Stars, having developed a culture of excellence within our organization that has translated to success on the ice. He’s re-shaped our club to put us in a position to compete with the League’s best each and every season. Jim’s diligence and commitment to the Stars has reverberated throughout our entire organization and we’re excited for him to continue his work building a championship-caliber team.
Some will certainly take issue with the idea that the Stars can “compete with the league’s best” every season, given they have missed the playoffs in four of the nine seasons and only finished higher than third in the division once since he has been general manager, but there have also been some master strokes by the veteran executive.
The 2017 draft, in particular, has become a franchise-altering moment for the Stars, as they selected Miro Heiskanen, Jake Oettinger, and Jason Robertson with their first three picks. Even Jacob Peterson, who made his debut with the club and scored 12 goals in 65 games last season, was selected that day, 132nd overall.
It has been the big-ticket contracts that Nill has given out that could have potentially been his downfall. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin make a combined $19.35MM against the cap and have been anything but the superstar talents they showed in their youth. Even smaller deals like the six-year, $34.8MM that Esa Lindell received in 2019 have been criticized, despite the defenseman’s relatively consistent play.
With a one-year extension in place, Nill can negotiate with players from a position of stability, knowing that he will be around for a little while longer. Perhaps that will come into play with his last big RFA contract in Robertson, who remains unsigned to this point after a brilliant season.