Nieuwendyk Too Patient in Dallas?

Mike Heika has a nice column reminding fans how long it took Dallas GM Bob Gainey to build a championship team.

By Heika’s math, it took around three years, so current GM Joe Nieuwendyk has some time. Fans seem to be losing patience as Nieuwendyk seems quite content to see how many of the Stars younger players are going to pan out.

It’s not a bad strategy for Nieuwendyk to take, given that it allows him to know exactly what he has and what he doesn’t. But for fans, it’s a very slow process. And at the end of the evaluations, Nieuwendyk could discover he doesn’t really have what he thought he did.

Since so many NHL GMs come out swinging, making trades just to make trades, and trying to either win right away or surrender their season immediately, it’s nice to see a GM with an even keel. Having said that, I’m not sure if Nieuwendyk is giving coach Marc Crawford the kind of players he needs to run his system. Heika touched on this in the email newsletter, but Crawford’s system depends on defensemen driving the attack. It’s all about that first pass out of the defensive zone springing the forwards, with defensemen shooting the puck on net, and forwards either redirecting shots or grabbing rebounds. The Stars don’t have that defenseman. Ironically, they once did, but they let Sergei Zubov leave for the KHL.

So Nieuwendyk gets points for patience, but might want to pay a little bit more attention to where his team is right now, personnel-wise.