Stars fire GM Joe Nieuwendyk

Updated: April 28, 2013, 5:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Dallas Stars have fired Joe Nieuwendyk as general manager, the team said Sunday.

Two sources told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun the Stars have hired Detroit assistant GM Jim Nill to replace Nieuwendyk.

"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," Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said in a statement.

TSN earlier reported the move Saturday before the Stars hosted Nill's Red Wings to wrap up their regular season.

Gaglardi said in the news release that a news conference would be held Monday at noon ET to introduce the new hire, though it wasn't revealed who that would be.

"My commitment to the Dallas Stars is unwavering," Gaglardi said. "And I am confident we have found the right general manager to return us to the pathway of success."

The Stars (22-22-4) missed the playoffs this season for a fifth consecutive year. Nieuwendyk, a Hockey Hall of Fame player inductee, was named the Stars GM in May 2009.

Nill has been one of the NHL's most respected assistant GMs for a long time. He's spent 15 years as the assistant GM in Detroit and 19 years overall with the front office.

The future of coach Glen Gulutzan wasn't addressed by the team in its statement. Dallas holds an option for a third season for Gulutzan, who is 64-57-9 in his two seasons after ending the lockout-shortened season with a 3-0 home loss to Detroit. The Stars dropped their last five games and won only once in their last seven after a five-game winning streak.

When asked about his job after Saturday night's game, Gulutzan said that wasn't under his control. He did praise Nieuwendyk.

"All I can say is that Joe's been tremendous for me. I think he's done a hell of a job," Gulutzan said. "You can see with our farm team and the young guys that we have here."

As a player in Dallas, Nieuwendyk won the Conn Smythe Award as playoff MVP in 1999 when the Stars won their only Stanley Cup.

When hired by Nieuwendyk two years ago to replace the fired Marc Crawford, the 41-year-old Gulutzan had never coached in the NHL. Gulutzan had been a successful minor league coach.

Crawford was hired following Dave Tippett's firing in 2009, after the Stars missed the playoffs a year after making it to the Western Conference finals. Tippett later that year replaced Wayne Gretzky as coach in Phoenix and led the Coyotes to the playoffs. He was honored as the league's top coach.

The Stars weren't eliminated from the playoff chase until Thursday night. They stayed in postseason contention even after longtime captain Brenden Morrow was traded, a week before 41-year-old points leader Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy were dealt at the trading deadline.

Dallas got several young players and extra draft picks in those deals. Within days after Jagr and Roy were traded, the young Stars went on a season-best five-game winning streak.

Morrow waived his no-trade clause to go to Pittsburgh, which entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Morrow's rookie season in Dallas was 1999-2000, when the Stars were the Stanley Cup runner-up a year after their title.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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