The Dallas Stars barely missed out on the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third season in a row, and it will finally cost general manager Joe Nieuwendyk his job.
Stars owner Tom Gaglardi announced today that Nieuwendyk -- who scored 564 NHL goals and won three Stanley Cups, one with the Stars in 1999 -- was relieved of his duties. "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.
"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 announcement of a new general manger -- believed by many to be current Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill -- will be made on Monday at 11 a.m. ET.
Nieuwendyk took over the team in May of 2009, and oversaw four consecutive seasons in which the Stars missed the post-season. In that time, their four divisional rivals (Anaheim, San Jose, Phoenix, Los Angeles) all made the playoffs at least twice, while the Kings won a Stanley Cup in that time. The closest the Stars came to the playoffs was in 2010-11, when they fell out of a post-season berth on the season's final day. Nieuwendyk will also, unfortunately, be known for a trade made with the Pittsburgh Penguins that sent James Neal and Matt Niskanen to Pittsburgh in exchange for Alex Goligoski, already derided as one of the worst trades in recent years.