Jim Nill is entering his third season as general manager of the Dallas Stars after being appointed to the position on April 29, 2013 by owner and governor, Tom Gaglardi. He is the 11th general manager in franchise history and the sixth since the team moved to Dallas.
Since joining the Stars, Nill has dramatically re-shaped the team’s culture and roster with a series of trades and acquisitions. In the summer of 2013, he hired veteran coach Lindy Ruff to serve as the team’s head coach and acquired young superstar center, Tyler Seguin, in a blockbuster, seven-player deal with the Boston Bruins. Seeing the need for continued depth at the center position, Nill once again made headlines in the 2014 offseason by bringing in center Jason Spezza via trade with Ottawa to give the Stars one of the most dynamic one-two combinations in the NHL. This past summer, he acquired three-time Stanley Cup champion Patrick Sharp in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks and signed free agent defenseman Johnny Oduya and goaltender Antti Niemi.
At the end of the 2014-15 season, Nill was named general manager of Canada’s National Team for the 2015 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic and constructed a roster that captured the gold medal at the tournament. Under his leadership, Team Canada touted a perfect 10-0 record and featured Dallas Stars players Tyler Seguin, Cody Eakin and Jason Spezza, who was named the top forward of the tournament by the IIHF directorate. Previously, Nill has won gold medals when he served as general manager for Team Canada at the 2004 IIHF World Championship and as assistant general manager at the 2003 IIHF World Championship.
Prior to joining the Stars, Nill spent a total of 19 seasons as a member of the Detroit Red Wings management team, the last 15 of those as the team’s assistant general manager. His responsibilities with Detroit included directing the amateur scouting department, overseeing all selections at the NHL Draft, as well as managing the development of the organization’s prospects at both the professional and amateur levels. During Nill’s tenure in Detroit, the Red Wings had more wins than any other franchise in the National Hockey League, won four Stanley Cups (1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008), six Presidents’ Trophies (1995, 1996, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008), 12 Central Division titles (1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011), seven regular season Western Conference titles (1995, 1996, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008), and never missed the playoffs. He was an integral part of Detroit’s drafting of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Valtteri Filppula, Jimmy Howard and Johan Franzen, amongst others.
Nill was also general manager of Team Canada for the 2004 IIHF Men’s World Championships in the Czech Republic. Canada captured gold by defeating Sweden 5-3 in the championship game.
The Hanna, Alta., native joined the Red Wings’ front office in the summer of 1994 following three seasons with the Ottawa Senators. Previously, Nill enjoyed a nine-season NHL career as a right wing with the Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Winnipeg Jets and Red Wings. He collected 58 goals, 87 assists and 854 penalty minutes in 524 regular-season games. Nill later went to Adirondack as a player/coach, retiring as a player after the 1990-91 season. A member of the 1979-80 Canadian National and Olympic teams, he was a fifth-round pick of the St. Louis Blues (89th overall) in the 1978 NHL Draft.
Jim and his wife, Rebecca, reside in Frisco, Texas and have three children: Jenna, Trevor and Kristin.