Nill hopes Sharp trade moves Stars from ‘infant stage’ to Chicago’s level

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Patrick Sharp tried not to cry when discussing the trade that sent him from the Chicago Blackhawks to Dallas, but Stars GM Jim Nill provided the most interesting fodder.

For one thing, a theme seemed obvious: while Sharp is the headliner of the swap, Dallas seems awfully excited about acquiring defensive prospect Stephen Johns.

On a skill-heavy team like the Stars, it could be a boon to add such a big body.

“Stephen was a big part of that trade,” Nill said. “We’re trying to change a little bit of the dimension of our back end … he’s 6-foot-4, 220 lbs. and can skate.”

Of course, Nill also pumps up the Sharp acquisition, saying “anyone who’s won Stanley Cups, you can’t replace that.”

On the future

Nill said he’s “very comfortable” heading into the 2015-16 season as is, yet he also noted that the Stars still enjoy healthy cap space. By Cap Friendly’s measure, the Stars enjoy about $6.4 million in room, which would easily allow for another move if something comes up. (Of course, not every team budgets to hit the cap ceiling, though.)

The way Dallas’ GM looks at this trade, the Stars are hoping to go from what he calls their “infant stage” to Chicago’s level.

They definitely have a long way to go before they’re a perennial Cup contender, but when you look at that roster on paper, it’s not outrageous to imagine much more than baby steps going forward.