He's happy, but Ken Holland knows losing Jim Nill is a blow to the Red Wings front office.

Nill, the longtime assistant general manager, was introduced Monday as general manager of the Stars.

"It's a big loss," said Holland, the Red Wings general manager. "But we've had a lot of big losses.

"I'm thrilled for Jimmy. He's paid his dues and waited for an opportunity. You look at (former Red Wings front office personnel) Steve Yzerman (Tampa Bay general manager) on Don Waddell (former Atlanta president) and Paul MacLean (Ottawa coach) and Todd McLellan (San Jose coach), part of the reason we've had success is we've been able to have people here that have made us better, then they had an opportunity to go elsewhere to fulfill professional dreams they couldn't fulfill here."

Nill, 55, spent the last 19 seasons with the Red Wings, the last 15 as the assistant general manager overseeing the draft and amateur scouting.

"Jim felt real good about the amateur (scouting) staff we have," Holland said. "We have people internally that could pick up some of the responsibility

Holland would like to have Nill's position filled by the draft, which is June 30.

The natural replacement could be Ryan Martin, the current assistant general manager of hockey administration, primarily responsible for collective bargaining agreement (CBA) administration and compliance and salary cap management.