New Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill met with players in Frisco Tuesday, and the focus was on moving forward and getting ready for next season.
“It’s about having a good summer, training hard and go from there,” said Nill. “It was a good meeting, it was nice to put the faces with the names and go from there.”
“We are moving on, we are turning the page,” Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. “Like he said in the meeting, we are not going to dwell on what happened last year; we’ve got to move forward. We want to get back in the playoffs, that’s the goal.”
Part of that meeting involved expectations for the players as they head off into the offseason.
“For guys to change their lifestyles a bit,” said Stars center Jamie Benn. “It’s all part of being a professional. We’re all done here now, but we’ve got to focus on getting in shape and being prepared for training camp next summer. There are really no days off in the summer, you’ve got to work hard and get yourself ready.”
Nill said he hopes that hard work in the summer will pay dividends at the start of next season, which he sees as key.
“One emphasis I made is it is important to have a great start to the season,” Nill said. “The way the standings work with the three point system, if you get behind early it’s too hard to make up ground. It’s important to have a great start and we want to be one of those teams that you don’t have to be worrying about the playoffs come March.”
Tuesday’s meeting was short, but players said Nill made an impression.
“He knows what he wants. He wants to win,” said Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon. “He wants that culture to start today, tomorrow. I think that’s something that is going to be exciting for us.”
Business as usual for Gulutzan
Stars coach Glen Gulutzan’s fate is expected to be decided in the next couple of weeks, but on Tuesday it was business as usual for the Dallas coach.
“I have a job to do and until I am told otherwise I am going to continue,” Gulutzan said. “Right now it’s about the players. We have a lot of young players and we have to make sure we send these guys away with a message, make sure they are training and getting ready for next season. That doesn’t stop for me, that’s part of my job.”
Gulutzan said he expects to meet with GM Jim Nill soon. Gulutzan has been the Stars’ coach the past two seasons. The team holds an option on a third year for Gulutzan, but can choose not to exercise it.
“We’re going to talk this next week and Jim is going to talk to the players,” Gulutzan said. “I thought our team competed real hard. Anytime you don’t get into the playoffs it certainly is a negative thing, but when you are judging yourself as a coach and what you do, it is how hard the guys are competing and how much you are bringing to the table every night. I enjoyed working with this group and I thought at that level we were fine.
Notes: Five Stars to play at World Championship
*As of Tuesday, five Dallas Stars are set to play at the World Championship, which gets underway Friday in Sweden and Finland. Those five are Brenden Dillon (Canada), Stephane Robidas (Canada), Loui Eriksson (Sweden), Antoine Roussel (France) and Philip Larsen (Denmark).
*The Stars are expected to unveil their new uniform and logo the first week of June, according to a team official.