The Dallas Stars missed the playoffs for a fifth straight season and began a potential housecleaning Sunday with the dismissal of general manager Joe Nieuwendyk.
A star of Dallas' Stanley Cup championship team in the spring of 1999, Nieuwendyk just completed his fourth season as the club's GM. The Stars finished the shortened campaign at 22-22-4, losing their last five games.
"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 Stars owner Tom Gaglardi in a statement Sunday. "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 already have a new general manager in place and will introduce him at a Monday news conference. TSN of Canada has reported that Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill is the choice.
Nill, who played 524 NHL games with five teams from 1981-90, joined the Red Wings in 1994 and was promoted to assistant GM in 1998. He has been part of the front office for four Stanley Cup championship teams in Detroit.
Nieuwendyk is a Hockey Hall of Famer and was the Conn Smythe winner as playoff MVP during the Stars' run to their only title. He also won the Stanley Cup with Calgary in 1989 and New Jersey in 2003.