Fantasy Impact - Dallas has fired their General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk. TSN reports that the team will replace him with Detroit assistant GM Jim Nill.
Nill has been highly-coveted by teams around the league for the better part of a decade. He is in an organization that is regarded as arguably the best run organization of the last 20 years, from drafting to development, to cap management, to loyalty to the players and keeping them happy. This is a major coup for the Stars.
As for Nieuwendyk, was he really that bad? I would argue - no. While Nill is a great move and I believe will turn out to be an upgrade, if Nill were not available I could see Nieuwendyk staying. This is a rebuilding team and the outlook is good. Did he lose the James Neal trade? Yes. But Alex Goligoski is an upgrade from Matt Niskanen and mobile blue-liners is whatNieuwendyk was focused on.
In adding Goligoski, Brenden Dillon, Joe Morrow and Kevin Connauton - not to mention drafting Jamie Oleksiuk - the Stars will have one of the most dominant group of defensemen in the league by 2015 or 2016.
Besides drafting, it's the GM's job to also manage the cap and look for ways to add talent via means other than the draft. He did the latter very well, adding Dillon, Antoine Roussel and Cristopher Nihlstorp. Capwise, he has this team in a very flexible position. The salary cap is dropping to $64.3 million and the Stars are at $44.7 million (per Cap Geek), with five "depth" spots to fill.
From a fantasy standpoint, this changes little in the short-term. Nill will pick up the ball where Nieuwendyk left it. He will be patient with a young team that is already on the cusp of a playoff spot.