April 11, 1958 |
Hanna, Alberta, Canada
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Played for||Detroit Red Wings
St. Louis Blues
|NHL Draft||89th overall, 1978
St. Louis Blues
Born in Hanna, Alberta, Nill played one season for the Drumheller Falcons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) in 1975, after which he played three seasons with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WCHL. He was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the third round, 89th overall, in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft.
The next season, Nill played with the University of Calgary before signing with the Canadian national team for 1979-80. Nill scored 32 points in 45 exhibition games before playing six games for Canada at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.
Nill played one season for the Salt-Lake Golden Eagles of the Central Hockey League (CHL) in 1980-81. He finally made his NHL debut in 1982 for the St. Louis Blues. He only played one season for the Blues before being traded to the Vancouver Canucks with Tony Currie, Rick Heinz and St. Louis' fourth-round draft pick (Shawn Kilroy) in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for Glen Hanlon on March 9, 1982. He helped the Canucks to the 1982 Stanley Cup Finals where they would lose to the New York Islanders 4-0.
After two more seasons in Vancouver, Nill was traded to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Peter McNab on February 3, 1984. He did not receive very much ice time in Boston and consequently the Bruins ended up trading him to the Winnipeg Jets for Morris Lukowich on February 4, 1985. He played nearly four years for Winnipeg. However, they were not able to defeat the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers or the Calgary Flames. He was sent to the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Moncton Hawks. He did not stay in New Brunswick long as Detroit Red Wings head coach Jacques Demers liked his tough style of play and acquired him on January 11, 1988 in exchange for fellow journeyman NHLer Mark Kumpel.
Nill played the final three years of his NHL career in Detroit with brief stints for the AHL's Adirondack Red Wings. In Adirondack, he was a teammate of Sheldon Kennedy. He retired from professional hockey after 1991.
After Nill retired as an active player, he joined the scouting staff of the Ottawa Senators as amateur scout. He was promoted to professional scout after only two years. He joined the Detroit Red Wings' front office in the summer of 1994 following his three-year stint with Ottawa.
Nill's duties with Detroit included directing their amateur scouting and selections at the annual NHL Entry Draft. He had also served as the general manager of the Adirondack Red Wings.
Nill continued to oversee the development of the Red Wings' prospects that are currently assigned to Detroit's main affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL, as well as those in the Canadian junior and European leagues.
In April 2013, Nill was hired as general manager of the Dallas Stars. He immediately made several major transactions, starting with trading a sixth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for defenceman Sergei Gonchar, then signed Gonchar to a two-year, $10 million contract. On July 4, 2013, in a blockbuster trade, Nill sent 2011 NHL All-Star Loui Eriksson (as well as prospects Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser) to the Boston Bruins in exchange for former second overall pick Tyler Seguin as well as Rich Peverley and Ryan Button. On the same day, he traded prospect Philip Larsen and a seventh-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for their captain Shawn Horcoff.
On July 1, 2014, Nill traded for Ottawa centre and captain Jason Spezza and right winger Ludwig Karlsson in exchange for Alex Chiasson, Nick Paul, Alex Guptill and a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. On the same day, he also signed unrestricted free agent forward Ale? Hemský to a three-year, $12 million contract.
On July 10, 2015, Nill traded for forward Patrick Sharp and defensive prospect Stephen Johns from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenceman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt. On July 15, 2015, Nill signed unrestricted free agent defenceman Johnny Oduya to a two-year, $7.5 million contract.