Jim Nill, Tom Gaglardi, Jim Lites

Modano: ‘No one really knows’ how Stars got Nill to come to Dallas


Mike Modano is thrilled that Jim Nill agreed to take the Stars’ general manager gig.

He’s just not sure how they lured him away from Detroit.

“Jim Nill has been sought after for a long time from a number of teams in the league,” Modano told KESN-FM radio Dallas, as per the Morning News. “How we got him to agree to come to Dallas, no one really knows.”

It’s believed Nill, who served as Ken Holland’s assistant GM in Detroit for 14 years, has been at the top of a number of organization’s wish lists for quite some time.

It’s also believed he’s essentially had his choice of jobs.

In 2012, Montreal interviewed Nill twice before he turned down the gig (it eventually went to Marc Bergevin); he was also in the running for past GM openings in Calgary and Toronto.

Several media outlets have likened Dallas’ acquisition of Nill to landing a prized free agent — his encyclopedic knowledge of the league and his cap management skills make him one of the NHL’s most well-rounded (and well-respected) front office people.

Just ask Modano.

“He’s one of the masterminds behind the Wings, him and Kenny Holland,” Modano explained. “He knows everything about the game. He knows personnel. He knows everything that’s going on.

“He’s so prepared and diligent with what he does. I think we were very fortunate and lucky.”

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.