1. Jim Nill, Detroit Red Wings:
Now in his 15th season as assistant GM in Detroit, he's been GM
material for a long time. And it just so happens that his contract will
soon begin to present itself with annual six-week "out windows" when he
can entertain GM offers from other teams, a source told ESPN.com. The
first window comes this summer. With five Stanley Cup rings and a long
list of late-draft gems on his resume, Nill is a top-notch candidate in
waiting. It would have to be the right fit for him to leave Detroit,
where he's happy and loyal to the Illitch family, but it's a
possibility. You can't go wrong if you name Nill as your GM. He'd be a
Obviously it's only Lebrun's opinion but the part about his contract is what makes it sound like there's a legitimate chance Jim Nill could be moving on. He's been a big and often overlooked part of the Red Wings success.
With Nil also being a big part of prospect development for the Wings, I have to wonder if Holland's "overly ripe" philosophy was frustrating.