Much can be, and has been said about Joe Nieuwendyk's tenure as the General Manager of the Dallas Stars. He's made some big moves which have been heavily scrutinized and has put the team on course with the vision he came in with. We can debate endlessly about the Alex Goligoski deal, the decision not to trade Brad Richards, and the decisions to let Marty Turco and Mike Modano go before they retired.

One thing Nieuwendyk and the Stars have been doing consistently, which has flown under the radar a bit, is surround the team with a bubble of great hockey minds and personalities. Championship teams aren't only made on the ice; they are formed through the coaching staff, management, and the people young players and veteran players alike have at their disposal for advice, comfort, and a generally positive atmosphere. These are the kinds of people he has been bringing and/or re-introducing to the organization over the past few years.

Soon after retiring from a very good NHL career, Gary Roberts became a favorite trainer for many young NHL stars. He brought them all to his own facility and showed them not just what to work out, but how to work out, and how to eat, sleep, and basically just live day-to-day in order to be fresh for every game. The most notable trainee of Roberts is Steven Stamkos. If you recall, Stamkos had a pretty average rookie year, but when he came back to the Lightning for his sophomore season he was much stronger and quickly became the most dangerous goal scoring threat in the league. Other notable players who work with him are Jeff Skinner, Brett Connolly, James Neal, and Jordan Staal.