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Nieuwendyk sacked as general manager of the Stars

2011 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Joe Nieuwendyk poses with the Stanley Cup during a news conference in Toronto November 14, 2011. REUTERS/M
2011 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Joe Nieuwendyk poses with the Stanley Cup during a news conference in Toronto November 14, 2011. REUTERS/M

(Reuters) - The Dallas Stars fired general manager Joe Nieuwendyk on Sunday after the team failed to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs for a fifth consecutive season.

The struggling Stars were beaten 3-0 at home by the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, ending their campaign 11th in the 15-team Western Conference with a 22-22-4 record.

Nieuwendyk, an elegant forward who hoisted the Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames, Stars and New Jersey Devils, was appointed as general manager of the Stars in May 2009.

"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 owner Tom Gaglardi said in a statement.

"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."

Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill, who has spent 19 years in that team's front office, is widely expected to take over from Nieuwendyk, 46.

The Stars have twice won the Western Conference Finals, and went on to clinch the Stanley Cup for the only time in 1999 when Nieuwendyk earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as the post-season's most valuable player.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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