Major shakeup with the Dallas Stars announced today, as Joe Nieuwendyk(notes) will be the team's new general manager, replacing the two-headed co-GM monster of Brett Hull and Les Jackson. Nieuwendyk, a rising star in the managerial ranks, served as Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season.
Dallas Stars Owner Thomas O. Hicks announced today that he has restructured the NHL club's hockey management staff, naming Joe Nieuwendyk as the team's new General Manager. As part of the reorganization, Co-General Managers Brett Hull and Les Jackson have been reassigned within the organization into positions that focus on their respective strengths. Hull will serve as Executive Vice President and Alternate Governor while Les Jackson will return to his long-time role as Director of Scouting and Player Development.
"We are very excited to secure Joe Nieuwendyk as the General Manager," said Hicks. "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.
"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. Brett will assist the club in several business areas and serve as an advisor to me and Jeff Cogen, while Les will go back to what he does best - overseeing our scouting department."
Les will "go back to what he does best" ... talk about your backhanded compliments there.
Nieuwendyk played seven seasons with the Stars, winning the Cup in 1999. (Current head coach Dave Tippett took over the year after Nieuwendyk was traded to the New Jersey Devils.) Former Toronto GM Cliff Fletcher praised him as a "bright hockey mind" when he joined team management last year. Although that could have been in comparison to the rest of the Leafs front office at the time.
As for Hull ... OK, so the co-GM thing didn't work out all that well. What with the signing Sean Avery(notes) to a four-year, $15.5 million dollar contract last summer, and the accusations that he actually didn't do much of anything as a managerial type.
But this whole "assisting the club in several business areas" sounds like a return to the free-wheeling days of "Ambassador of Fun." Which is, in our estimation, is "what he does best," Mr. Hicks.