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Nill Looking for Every-Day Pros

Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 5:26 PM CT / News
By Mark Stepneski
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Nill Looking for Every-Day Pros

On Monday, new Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill talked about bringing a culture change to the team, and on Tuesday, he started delivering that message to the players.

Nill met with players briefly in Frisco, and part of his talk was about expectations as the players head off into the summer months.

“The season is over and now we’re focused on moving forward for next year,” Nill said. “It’s about having a good summer, training hard and (we’ll) go from there.”

There wasn’t much talk about this past season, as that’s history and can’t be changed. It’s about the future, and what the Stars can do to be better next season.

“We are moving on, we are turning the page,” said defenseman Stephane Robidas. “Like he said in the meeting, we are not going to dwell on what happened last year, we’ve got to move forward. We want to get back in the playoffs. That’s the goal.”

Nill has talked about players becoming every-day professionals, and every-day includes the offseason. He outlined those expectations on Tuesday.

“He said as soon as you get home, you should be pushing for next year,” said defenseman Brenden Dillon. “That should be your thought process.”

“For guys to change their lifestyles a bit,” forward Jamie Benn said. “It’s all part of being a professional. We’re all done here now, but we’ve got to focus on getting in shape and being prepared for training camp next summer. There are really no days off in the summer, you’ve got to work hard and get yourself ready.”

Putting an emphasis on those lifestyle changes is important with a young team like the Stars, Nill said. He pointed to veterans on the team, particularly 40-year-old Ray Whitney, as role models for the younger players.

“Why are they still playing hockey? Because they are pros. They are every-day pros,” said Nill. “They come every day to the rink, they do the right things. When they leave the rink, they do the right things. They do that year after year, and that’s why they are still playing. We’ve got a young team here and these young guys need to learn that. It’s nothing against the young guys, it’s a learning process. The quicker they learn it, the better off they are going to be.”

And Nill said he hopes the hard work over the summer will pay dividends at the beginning of next season. He said a strong start to 2013-14 is key, and he was delivering that message as the dust was just beginning to settle on the 2012-13 campaign.

“One emphasis I made is it is important to have a great start to the season,” Nill said. “The way the standings work with the three-point system, if you get behind early, it’s too hard to make up ground. It’s important to have a great start and we want to be one of those teams that you don’t have to be worrying about the playoffs come March.”

Tuesday’s meeting was brief, but Nill mapped out his expectations and set goals.

“He knows what he wants. He wants to be a winner,” said Dillon. “He wants that culture to start today. I think that’s something that is going to be exciting for us. It’s been five years that Dallas hasn’t made the playoffs, and that is what you are measured by. It’s winning, not just personally, but as a team. We’ve got a good group of guys here, and it should be exciting moving forward.”

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 76 47 21 8 218 183 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
5 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
6 VAN 74 43 27 4 212 199 90
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
11 DAL 75 36 29 10 232 240 82
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 75 27 44 -6 71
T. Seguin 65 33 34 -3 67
J. Spezza 75 16 40 -4 56
J. Klingberg 58 10 27 5 37
C. Eakin 71 17 17 -4 34
A. Goligoski 75 4 30 -1 34
T. Daley 61 16 17 -10 33
A. Hemsky 69 11 21 -7 32
S. Horcoff 71 11 17 7 28
V. Fiddler 73 12 14 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 33 15 10 .907 2.84
J. Enroth 14 26 2 .900 3.28
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