First of all, just the move to a single GM model is pretty huge for the Stars. That alone makes this a great move. But you also have to love Nieuwendyk’s pedigree. He’s a player who knows how to win. Not only did he win the Stanley Cup with three different teams, but he had different roles with each of the three teams, from offensive force to calming veteran to defensive specialist. And even at the end of his career, when he was injured more than he was healthy, he still found ways to be effective. He’s got a tremendous hockey IQ and I’m guessing it will translate to the GM’s office. I’m also guessing Dallas coach Dave Tippett will be on a very, very short leash to start the season. I imagine Nieuwendyk is watching the playoffs and seeing the value of a strong, aggressive forecheck — a style Tippett has fairly consistently avoided.
Allan Muir also likes the move in Dallas, but cautions that Nieuwendyk could stand a bit more seasoning.
Also, Bucky Gleason has a terrifying theory that the Blackhawks could be the Sabres of the Western Conference in terms of an inability to retain key players on a successful team. Of course, I kind of think the Blackhawks will at least extend offers to players they’d like to keep, while that was never the style of the Sabres.