Joe Nieuwendyk’s tenure as the Dallas Stars’ general manager is over, but he doesn’t sound like a guy that has a lot of regrets.
“I’m very proud of what we accomplished,” he said in a Dallas Morning News report. “I know you get measured on getting to the playoffs and challenging for Stanley Cups, but I feel we’ve made a lot of progress in four years. I feel good about this group of players moving forward.”
Nieuwendyk isn’t sure what he learned during his time as a general manager.
“I think I’m proud of the tract that my morals and values were unwavering through it all,” he added. “I believe in doing the right thing and treating people with respect, and at the end of the Spector think I had the respect of my players and co-workers. I think we were a good team together.”
Dallas has gone five seasons without a postseason berth, but they do have some great young players, most notably Jamie Benn. Jim Nill will assume Nieuwendyk’s old post and his background as a scout should help him continue the Stars’ rebuilding efforts even as they try to end their playoffs drought in the near future.
Nill had been serving as the Detroit Red Wings assistant GM before he accepted Stars owner Tom Gaglardi’s offer.
“I think a GM with a history in scouting certainly has a leg up, and I think anyone who has been around that kind of success also has a head start,” Gaglardi said. “He’s been at the epicenter of one of the best franchises in hockey for nearly two decades, I think he’s an extremely qualified individual.”
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Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.