When the Dallas Stars return to the ice in October, they could have more than just new uniforms and a new logo. They could have a new general manager, a new coach and some new players.
The Stars announced Sunday they have fired Joe Nieuwendyk. Reports out of Canada say they have hired Detroit assistant GM Jim Nill to take his place.
Dallas Stars Owner and Governor Tom Gaglardi said in a statement: "Joe Nieuwendyk has represented the Dallas Stars extremely well as the club's General Manager and has helped put pieces in place that will once again turn this team into a contender," said Gaglardi. "I would like to thank Joe for his contributions to this hockey club and wish him and his family only the best in the future.
"However, I believe it is time to take this organization in a different direction with our intentions set on returning to the elite of the National Hockey League. My commitment to the Dallas Stars is unwavering, and I am confident we have found the right General Manager to return us to the pathway of success."
The Stars announced they will introduce the club's new GM on Monday morning (April 29) at American Airlines Center at 11 am.
Nieuwendyk has been GM for four years and has failed to put the Stars in the playoffs. He has hired Marc Crawford and Glen Gulutzan as coaches while passing on Dave Tippett and Ken Hitchcock. Tippett and Hitchcock went on to win the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year, while Crawford was fired after two seasons and Gulutzan is on thin ice as the Stars now have the option to end their contract with him.
So the possibility of Nill coming in, a new coach being hired, and some roster changes to a team that finished 22-22-4 seem very strong. But as the players sat at their lockers, they said they accepted their share of the blame.
“You can point the fingers at them all you want, but the GM and the coach can’t go out on the ice and score goals,” said Eric Nystrom, who was acquired from Minnesota last season after being sent to the minors.