(CBS) Win three Stanley Cups in six years, and you quickly become a model franchise in the NHL.
Such is the case for the Blackhawks, whose approach is being emulated by the Dallas Stars and their leader, who’s not afraid to admit it.
“They’re the modern day Detroit Red Wings,” Stars general manager Jim Nill told Yahoo Sports. “They’ve done a great job of drafting, great job of developing, they’ve managed their system well. They’ve made the right trades at the right times. I have noting but respect for Stan Bowman and the job they’ve done. It’s not easy to win, and it’s not easy to stay on top a few years in a row.”
Practically speaking, Dallas has attempted to imitate Chicago by adding a quartet of former Blackhawks this offseason: winger Patrick Sharp and defenseman Stephen Johns via trade and defenseman Johnny Oduya and goalie Antti Niemi in free agency. Sharp, Oduya and Niemi each have a championship pedigree from their time in Chicago.
Theoretically speaking, the Stars also believe they boast a young combo in 23-year-old center Tyler Seguin and 25-year-old winger Jamie Benn that remind of Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane early in their careers.
“We’re not there, but we think we’re on pace with where our players are at,” Nill told Yahoo Sports. “Benn and Seguin remind me of Toews and Kane when they were 22, 23, 24 years of age. And I think we’re trying to get there. We’re close, I think.”
The Stars finished 10th in the 14-team Western Conference last season, so they’ve got a big learning curve ahead to reach any heights to that which the Blackhawks have risen. Only time and postseason success will tell how close Seguin and Benn are to superstardom, but at least they have their model.