Found April 30, 2013 on Fox Sports Southwest:
It was a bizarre night on Saturday evening when the Stars were playing out the string against Detroit in an arena full of red and equally of defeat for anyone who loves hockey in Dallas. For what seems like the umpteenth time in a row, the Stars fight and claw and come up short. Actually, it was only the 5th season in a row, but after they spoiled us by showing success virtually anytime they wanted in the first 15 years in town, the Dallas Stars have hit a dead end. Again. And Again. Trying to figure out where the Stars took a wrong turn after their fantastic run in the 2008 playoffs, there are certainly plenty of events that strung together in succession. Was it the retirement of Sergei Zubov and 2 other significant defensemen at the same time? Was it the ill-advised signing of Sean Avery that summer when most of the league wouldn't touch him? Was it the firing of Dave Tippett when he had only missed the playoffs one time in his six seasons in Dallas (you know, the season you gave him Sean Avery in the middle of his room and took Zubov away)? Was it the bankruptcy and embarrassing manner in which Tom Hicks left the franchise? Was it cranking the payroll back significantly year after year (from over 70m to down to the bare minimum the league allows)? Was it firing Doug Armstrong in the first place? We could go on. But, the point is this thing was broken down to where whoever took the job over was going to have to pitch a perfect game to get out of that mess. And even that might not have been enough. So, when Joe Nieuwendyk was dismissed on Saturday Night in a way that was a bit unfortunate (it appears he found out the same way we did, via reporters in Canada), it struck me as less than a fair way to summarize his 4 years here in Dallas. Now, in the interest of being open, I am a big Joe Nieuwendyk supporter because of the way he conducts his business going back to the first time I met him upon coming to Dallas in 1998. He has always been 100 class and seemed perfect for this type of position when he was done playing. He inherited a chance at being a general manager in the NHL, but was certainly not lucky enough to inherit one where the odds were stacked in his favor. He made some major mis-steps along the way, but also some significant positive moves. The fans began to associate him with the dire times inside the organization which seems incredibly misdirected, but that is the nature of the beast. The owner makes a major mess of everything and then shoves his representatives out to deal with the angry public. They do the best they can, because they are lucky enough to have a high ranking spot in the NHL, knowing full well that they are on borrowed time because the entire thing was broken and not set for success with 1st class organizations that they must compete with. Nieuwendyk's first decision might have been the one that bit him the most, looking back, when he fired Tippett immediately to get his guy in as coach. Let's be honest, watching the duo of Armstrong and Tippett find success in their very next gigs after leaving Dallas doesn't help any of us feel better about how this thing has gone. Both coaches that Nieuwendyk hired looked the part as reasonable hires, but the fact that the results never were found doesn't help, either. The trades have been gone over and for every Goligoski complaint, there should be an equally loud Lehtonen cheer, but it seldom seems that happens. The infusion of young talent that has been assembled suggests that Joe helped build the next wave of talent that is coming through the system and that will be reaped by his successor. Time will tell the quality and there are some first round pick decisions that I certainly continue to 2nd guess, but overall, this thing is in way better shape than Nieuwendyk found it. But, the biggest thing I would say about his run is that we still don't know how he would do as a general manager with a full deck of cards. His payroll rankings when he was in charge were right there with the worst in the league and therefore to expect top notch results that compare to Bob Gainey and Doug Armstrong when they always had Top 5 payrolls and he had Bottom 5 payrolls is just flat-out ridiculous and unfair. His biggest signing in free agency? Would you believe the small signing of Ray Whitney last summer for 2 years9 million (Remember: Brett Hull had 15.5 million to give Sean Avery and traded for the giant Brad Richards deal before that)? As a general manager in the NHL, to never have a free agent signing or acquisition that valued over that is incredible and uncommon. To judge his work with that millstone around his neck is silly. Now, yes, he did make the big signings of Goligoski, Benn, Lehtonen, and others inside the organization (many times to just get to the cap floor, mind you), but when this team need additions, it was always in the bargain bin. So, they had no choice but to find bargains and turn refuse into chicken salad whenever possible. Sometimes, it worked well as guys like Brenden Dillon get me very excited, but other times you are led to believe that Joe will be hard pressed to have the odds stacked more against him in his next gig. It was destined to fail, regardless of the GM. In a sense, Armstrong is lucky he found a new home in St Louis where they were serious about building a contender. But, thankfully, Tom Hicks was forced out of business. He had done enough damage to erase the good he helped create a decade earlier. And after the NHL ran the Stars for a short spell, enter Tom Gaglardi. At first, his best characteristic was that he was not the old guy. Slowly, we are seeing what he has on his list of objectives, and it does seem to include a thirst to build a winner. Talk is cheap, though, and I always said we should give him a fair chance, but actions will always speak louder than words. Gaglardi has been in power for 18 months and although we have seen small signs of determined actions to make things right on the ice, it has been slow and calculated to get through the work stoppage and moving out assets that were expiring and making room for the kids. He did not make changes on the hockey side until Saturday when he decided Joe and surely his hire at coach, Glen Gulatzan were done. Now, to hear it told, there is some confusion about whether or not this move was made because Jim Nill was available or it the Stars were changing GM no matter who the successor was. In the end, that hardly matters, save for the history telling, but the since the entire league is responding to this hire with plaudits, it looks like they have quite a guy in the big chair here. Pierre LeBrun from ESPN wrote about assistant general managers who were ready for the GM job back in February and listed Nill as his 1 guy: 1. Jim Nill,Detroit Red Wings:Now in his 15th season as assistant GM in Detroit, he has been GM material for a long time. And it just so happens that his contract will soon begin to present itself with annual six-week "out windows" when he can entertain GM offers from other teams, a source told The first window comes this summer. With four Stanley Cup rings and a long list of late-draft gems on his resume, Nill is a top-notch candidate in waiting. It would have to be the right fit for him to leave Detroit, where he's happy and loyal to the Ilitch family, but it's a possibility. You can't go wrong if you name Nill as your GM. He'd be a superstar hire.That is an amazing endorsement and should make everyone excited. But, maybe for different reasons than might be readily obvious. I am fired up because a guy like Nill was only leaving Detroit if the move was perfect. And I assume to do that he was able to secure assurances from Gaglardi and Jim Lites that if he comes here, he will be given the resources to compete - and not just for the playoffs, but ultimately for a Cup. Clearly, hiring someone from a top organization makes sense, and sometimes it works like when Oklahoma City hired Sam Presti from the San Antonio Spurs, and sometimes it doesn't like when the Cavaliers hired Danny Ferry from the Spurs. But, Nill comes with confidence, experience, and hopefully the eye for talent that everyone credits him with from many days with Ken Holland and Jim Devellano who along with Scotty Bowman made Detroit into what it is today. They are the gold standard in hockey in the last 2 decades, so I have no problem stealing from the enemy who does it right. He has a pretty solid youth system, a load of picks, and hopefully a stack of cash to make this thing happen. He also has a 5-year deal, so we should assume he will play the long game in fixing, which means no reckless plays early just because he has money. He will take his time and do what he needs to do to make sure this downturn in hockey ends with this hire. As for Nieuwendyk, I know he will bounce back. I understand fans being mad at someone, but the venom directed at him is just not overly reasonable given what he had to work with. He inherited a bad situation and built a brighter future. Did he deserve another year? While I thought so, I also am fine with Gaglardi making a move if he things he needed a fresh start with his guys before he invests heavily in the future. But, make no mistake: It will take heavy investment from the owner to win a Cup and to fill this arena again. The fans were misled for many years about whether this team was serious about winning or not, and ownership did not always practice what they preached. Fine. Water under the bridge. As far as I am concerned, Gaglardi and Nill have a fresh start and the benefit of the doubt from me. As for many of you, I am sure they are going to have to win you back. And winning on the ice is the only way to do that.

Report- Ryan Martin Expected To Replace Nill In Detroit

from Doug Harrison of CBC, The Red Wings are expected to promote Ryan Martin, the current assistant GM of hockey administration for the Red Wings, to take over for Nill, a married father of two daughters and one son. “I’m looking for somebody like Jim Nill,” said Holland when asked what his search for Nill’s successor would involve. “It’s experiences, work ethic...

Stars fire general manager Joe Nieuwendyk

Before the puck even dropped on Saturdays 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...

New Stars GM Jim Nill not ready to decide on coach

The Dallas Stars have a new general manager. Jim Nill isn't ready to say if he'll have a new coach. Nill was introduced Monday after spending the past 15 years as an assistant GM with the Detroit Red Wings, who just extended the longest playoff streak in North American pro sports to 22 seasons. Glen Gulutzan has coached the last two of five straight years without a trip...

Stars fire GM Joe Nieuwendyk after 4 seasons

The Dallas Stars fired general manager Joe Nieuwendyk on Sunday after four seasons, two coaches and no playoff appearances. The dismissal came the day after Dallas completed a 22-22-4 season. The Stars missed the playoffs for the fifth season in a row. Owner Tom Gaglardi said in a statement that Nieuwendyk represented the Stars ''extremely well'' and ''helped...

Dallas Stars Hire GM Jim Nill

One significant story I haven't written about yet that occurred at the end of the regular season is the change in general managers in Dallas.  Joe Nieuwendyk was fired.  He was hired in 2009 and never managed to qualify for the playoffs.  He was a prime example of a star player who was rushed into a position above his qualifications and struggled there.  In fact when he was...

Ryan Martin to Replace Jim Nill('s Mustache)

Wow, have we let all of you down.  Probably the biggest weekend of of regular season hockey for the Wings in 22 or so years and what do we bring you?  A couple recaps, and that's it.  Well in that time, Jim Nill, Wings assistant GM who's consistently been a topic of rumors of his leaving to become the GM of somewhere, has been hired by Dallas to be their GM.  We all...

Dallas Stars Name Jim Nill As New General Manager

DALLAS – Dallas Stars Owner and Governor Tom Gaglardi announced today that he has named Jim Nill the team’s new General Manager at a press conference at American Airlines Center. He will begin his new role immediately, becoming the 11th General Manager in franchise history and sixth since the team moved to Dallas. “Jim Nill, along with Ken Holland, has been at the core of...

Nieuwendyk Feels Progress Has Been Made In Dallas

from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, Joe Nieuwendyk was officially informed Saturday of owner Tom Gaglardi’s decision to go with a new general manager, but said he sensed there was a change afoot for some time. “I think it’s important for Tom to pick the people he wants involved in the hockey department,” Nieuwendyk said Sunday in Frisco. “Tom could have...

Watch Jim Nill At His Press Conference In Dallas Today

Jim Nill, the new GM in Dallas, discusses his philosophy on building a team, with a few Red Wings references.  

Hits and Misses of the Joe Nieuwendyk Era

With the era of Joe Nieuwendyk as general manager of the Dallas Stars officially coming to an end on Sunday with the announcement that he had been relieved of his duties, it's time to reflect on what exactly the now-former GM accomplished or didn't accomplish during his time at the helm of the Stars front office. So, here's a rundown: HITS Trading Michael Ryder (2013...

Bill Meltzer: Star Gazing: High Praise for Nill from Howe

With the pending announcement that the Stars have hired Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill to take over their head GM job from Joe Niewendyk, I decided yesterday to solicit input from longtime Detroit Red Wings scout Mark Howe about Nill. Unfortunately, I was tied up at the Philadelphia Flyers' cleanout day media availability session with general manager Paul Holmgren...

Dallas Stars desperately needed new leadership

Joe Nieuwendyk never got the Dallas Stars back into the playoffs. This is why he is no longer general manager of the once-mighty franchise.“I’m very proud of what we accomplished,” he told the Dallas Morning News. “I know you get measured on getting to the playoffs and challenging for Stanley Cups, but I feel we’ve made a lot of progress in four years. I feel good about...

The Best Type Of GM

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, Teams are much more likely to have sustained success by hiring guys such as Jim Nill, who was named the new Stars GM Monday. As a player, Nill appeared in 524 NHL games, each one of them because he worked more diligently than any other player on his team. Over the course of his career, he averaged about a goal every 10 games, but kept moving...
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