USATSI_9042365_154158418_lowresThe Dallas Stars have expressed their faith in general manager Jim Nill by signing him to a five-year contract extension. The team announced the deal on Friday.

The contract will keep the 57-year-old with the team through the 2022-2023 season.

“We got a great staff here,” said Nill. “We’re in a good spot right now. We want to keep it strong. I think anything you do in life, I think [you want] consistency, knowing that there’s a base there, your base or your foundation’s very important. You look at successful organizations, that’s how they operate and that’s what we’re getting to.”

The Stars are currently atop the Western Conference with a 29-10-4 record, which accounts for their best start through 43 games. They’ve gone 110-72-5 since Nill arrived in April of 2013 and are proving themselves among the league’s top contenders.

Nill made his debut in a big way, signing head coach Lindy Ruff in his first off-season and trading for Tyler Seguin. The 23-year-old forward has 51 points in 43 games and currently leads the league in goals with 24.

Nill also brought in Jason Spezza in a deal with the Ottawa Senators, plus he hauled in Patrick Sharp from the Chicago Blackhawks and inked both Johnny Oduya and Antti Niemi as free agents.

“He’s done a terrific job. I can’t tell you how impressed I am. Nothing ceases to amaze me after 30 years in the business, and Jim Nill is as good as I have ever worked with,” Stars president Jim Lites said. “And I have worked with great general managers in Detroit and here in Dallas.”

The Stars made the post-season in the first of Nill’s seasons with the club after missing the playoffs for five straight seasons beforehand. The next step is obviously to turn Dallas into a perennial Cup challenger, which is something he seems primed to do. He’s helped forge a “family atmosphere” among the Stars and has really changed the culture of hockey in Texas.

“We’re a good team. The core of our team is still young, I think they’re going to get better. We have some great veteran leadership,” Nill said. “We’re going to be a better team than we are today and I like where we’re at. We haven’t got there yet and that’s the challenge with this group.”

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