Hockey

Nieuwendyk named Stars GM

The Dallas Stars have named former NHL forward Joe Nieuwendyk their new general manager, while reassigning former co-GMs Brett Hull and Les Jackson to other positions in the organization.

Former star player replaces co-GMs Hull and Jackson

Joe Nieuwendyk's goal of running his own team in the National Hockey League was realized Sunday when he was named general manager of the Dallas Stars.

Nieuwendyk, who had worked in the front office of the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs since retiring as a player with chronic back problems in 2006, takes over from Brett Hull and Les Jackson.

They have been reassigned within the Dallas organization.

"We are very excited to secure Joe Nieuwendyk as the general manager," Stars owner Tom Hicks said on the team's website.

"These moves are all about helping this club take the proverbial 'next step.' Joe is a leader and has been a winner in everything he has done.

"He is ready for this opportunity and has a bright future as an NHL general manager. We want that future to be with the Dallas Stars."

Worked for Burke

Nieuwendyk, 42, had been given increasing responsibility by Leafs' president and GM Brian Burke this past season and he also had gained experience as assistant GM for Team Canada at the 2009 IIHF world hockey championship.

As a player, he spent 20 years in the NHL, winning the Stanley Cup with Calgary, Dallas and New Jersey.

"I am ready for this opportunity," Nieuwendyk told the Stars' website. "The Dallas Stars have built a winning tradition over the years and I want to help continue that legacy.

"My family is very excited about returning to Dallas. I have great memories from my playing days with the Stars and look forward to helping this team win."

Hull and Jackson took over as joint general managers a season and a half ago and brought the club to the Western Conference final last year.

This season the team finished a disappointing 12th in the West (36-35-11) as the co-GMS took much criticism for the decision to sign troubled forward Sean Avery to an expensive contract.

That turned out to be a disaster as the team didn't play well while Avery was on the roster and he was given a lengthy suspension for making inappropriate comments to the press about a former girlfriend.

Avery was released and signed later in the year with the New York Rangers.

"Brett and Les have done a great job as co-general managers, but after analyzing the situation, it is in the team's best interest to return them to roles that fit their respective strengths," Hicks said. 

Hull will take over as executive vice-president and alternate governor, while Jackson goes back to his former job as director of scouting and player development.