The Dallas Stars are headed to the Stanley Cup Final, and two of the classiest gentlemen in hockey have paved the way for Dallas’ ascent. Former Red Wings assistant GM and long-time director of amateur scouting Jim Nill is heading to his first Stanley Cup Final as Dallas’ general manager, and coach Rick Bowness is at the helm of the Stars’ bench.
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch spoke with Nill regarding both his status as the man in charge of a team that’s about to compete for the Stanley Cup, and as a GM who made the decision to pick Bowness to lead his team after the Stars parted ways with coach Jim Montgomery just short of halfway through the abbreviated regular season:
While Bowness is making his first trip to the final as a head coach, this will be Nill’s inaugural stop at the big dance since he took over the Stars in 2013 after 19 seasons and four Stanley Cup titles in Detroit. He left the Red Wings because the timing was right to make the next step from assistant GM.
“This is what you’re in the business for and you always dream of being in this position,” Nill said. “We still have one more hurdle to go here. I’ve been very fortunate in my career. I’ve been surrounded by great people and I’ve had great mentors. I was put in a very fortunate situation (in Detroit), and I learned so much from them.
“I remember when I first got into the business. You’re young, energetic and ready to go and you think you can tackle anything. When I look back now, I had some opportunities to go to some other teams when I was younger and it’s probably a good thing I didn’t because I may have got eaten alive. It’s a tough business. You have to live with the ups and the downs. You’re dealing with ownership, media, players and agents. It’s a tough position.”
Continued; anyone who dealt with Jim Nill during his time with the Red Wings will tell you that he was and is flat-out one of the classiest people in the entire league, and he’s got me rooting for a team that has Corey Frickin’ Perry on its roster.