Jim Nill knows what could have been for the Dallas Stars last season.
As a result, after Dallas lost in double overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round to the St. Louis Blues, the eventual Stanley Cup champion, Nill set about remaking their roster and signed veteran forwards Corey Perry and Joe Pavelski, and defenseman Andrej Sekera on July 1.
Pavelski played his first 13 seasons with the San Jose Sharks, including the past four as captain, helping them advance to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016 and reach the Western Conference Final last season. Perry won the Cup with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 and has 89 points (36 goals, 53 assists) in 118 playoff games.
"Any time you can add a player of the pedigree of a Corey Perry or a Joe Pavelski, a Sekera -- they have been around the game a long time -- it just helps your room," Nill said Saturday while watching Dallas play the New York Rangers at the 2019 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament.
The Stars were able to find success in their first year under coach Jim Montgomery, finishing 43-32-7 and qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in three seasons before eliminating the Nashville Predators, who won the Central Division, in the first round.