Habs GM candidate Nill says he's staying with Red Wings Staff

4/24/2012 9:18:45 AM

The Montreal Canadiens' search for a new general manager continues with one less candidate in the mix, as reports that Detroit Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill passed on the front office opportunity.

Nill explained to's Ansar Khan that it was not the right time to go because of an illness in his family.

"I had two great talks with Montreal," Nill told "I was interested, they were interested. But it's not the right time."

According to the Michigan-based news website, Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch gave Nill permission and his full blessing to speak to the Canadiens after the club called to talk with him.

Nill has been the an assistant GM in Detroit under Ken Holland for 14 seasons and is highly regarded as an NHL executive ready to make a move up to become a general manager.

While Nill doesn't have an out clause in his contract this season, there are different out clauses in each of the four remaining years of his contract.

"My goal is to become a general manager," Nill told "There will be opportunities down the road."

Files from were used for this report.