Stars fire Nieuwendyk as GM; Nill next in line

Joe Nieuwendyk has been relieved of his duties as Stars general manager.

Before the puck even dropped on Saturday’s regular-season finale with the Detroit Red Wings, the Dallas Stars were already in the news because of a report by TSN's Darren Dreger that said club general manager Joe Nieuwendyk would be fired and replaced by Jim Nill, current assistant GM of those same Red Wings.

The club refused to comment and nothing was official until Sunday morning, when a press release confirming that Nieuwendyk had indeed been relieved of his duties was issued by the Stars organization.

"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," Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said in a statement on the teams official website. "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."

Nieuwendyk had left American Airlines Center during the latter stages of Saturday’s 3-0 blanking by the Red Wings presumably for the last time as the Dallas GM and thus closes the book on his tenure in the club’s front office.

With the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee at the helm since June of 2009, the Stars went 143-117-34, but failed to reach the playoffs during his tenure.

The team has called for a press conference on Monday afternoon to introduce the new general manager, presumably Detroit's Nill. The Associated Press reported Sunday night that the Stars had indeed chosen Nill to be the team's next GM.

Nill has been the assistant GM in Detroit for the last 15 seasons, helping shape one of the most consistent rosters in the NHL.  With Detroit's 3-0 win over Dallas on Saturday night, the Red Wings clinched their 22nd straight trip to the playoffs.

Dallas is hoping Nill can produce similar success for the Stars, starting next season.