The Dallas Stars might not make the postseason this year, but it’s undeniable that GM Jim Nill is already in the process of creating a foundation for the team’s sustained success.
The trade for Tyler Seguin during the offseason, the emergence of guys like Alex Goligoski and Brandon Dillon and the establishment of Jamie Benn as a leader both on and off the ice are only some of the examples of what Nill and head coach Lindy Ruff have done so far. The management has made another solid move after inking Ryan Garbutt to a three-year extension that will start the following year.
Garbutt was one of four potential UFAs that the Stars had to deal with after the end of the campaign, and there is little doubt that Garbutt has earned a role within the team this year. The 28-year-old has moved up all the way to the second line, and he already set a career-high in points with 18 (10 goals, eight assists). He is also one of the leaders of the team in hits (third with 81) and shots (fourth with 105), and he appears set to remain with the franchise for the long run.
Garbutt has all the abilities to be a prototypical checking line forward in the future, and he might be there next season if the issues in the top-six are addressed during the offseason. What is already clear is that he has been a bright spot for the Stars this season, and the management has rewarded him with a three-year extension. He earned it thanks to his tough play on the ice, and he should be a solid building block for the franchise for years to come.