Following a 4-3 shootout loss to Winnipeg, the Dallas Stars are 3-4-2. That record is not exactly what I would call following through on the offseason moves meant to move us back into contention. This record is especially daunting when you consider the fact that exactly 0 of those wins came in regulation. The issue at hand is that the Stars are basically a free point for any team on the schedule right now. The peak of the Stars struggles would have to be losing 4-1 to a Senators team. The same Senators who turned around and lost 5-1 to an abysmal Chicago Blackhawks team, giving them their first win of the season. The Dallas Star’s struggles so far can be attributed to leadership, from top to bottom. Jim Nill’s inability to guide from the top, Rick Bowness’ favoritism and old school style, and the team leaders failing their teammates
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 23: Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning meets with Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill during the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Dallas Stars Issues: Jim Nill’s inability to guide from the top
Since becoming the General Manager of the Dallas Stars in 2013, the Stars have made the playoffs 4 times. (’14, ’16, ’19, and ’20) while also having some of the oldest coaches in the league with Lindy Ruff, Ken Hitchcock, and now Rick Bowness. The signing of Ken Hitchcock was a beautiful setup for Jim Montgomery as the Lindy Ruff era had the Stars averaging roughly 3 goals per game but felt like they gave up 4 per game that they lost. Hitchcock came in to establish a Defense, bringing the average down under 3 goals against. Enter Jim Montgomery the following year, who in his first season in the NHL brought the goals against average down to 2.44 while leading Dallas back into the playoffs. This year under Bowness it’s back up to 2.78 while goals for is down to 1.89. Jim Nill, like the coaches he tends to employ, is playing a game that no longer exists. These are no longer the days of the Russian Five that Nill helped create. We adapt or we go extinct. The Stars seem to be going the way of extinction. If we want to avoid that, Nill needs to bring in a new head coach who understands the nuance of today’s game.