“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.”
Niewendyk has become familiar with management roles recently. Prior to spending last season with the Leafs’ club, he worked as a Special Consultant to the GM with the Florida Panthers and as Assistant GM with the silver medal-winning Canadian team at the 2009 IIHF World Hockey Championship.
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Wow. I can say that I am certainly surprised by this news. After speaking with Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News on the IC Radio Show earlier this year, I got the sense that Brett Hull was going to possibly be moved aside and that the organization would allow for Les Jackson to run the show. So, this news kind of catches me off guard.
As for Hull, I don’t necessarily think being GM was made for him. My focus here is more so on Jackson. They didn’t exactly give him much time to run the show, so I wonder what kind of job he would have done with more time. He’s done a great job bringing up players like Loui Eriksson and some of the Stars’ good young defensemen. While I realize he is staying within the organization, you have to feel for Jackson, as he seemed to a capable GM. However, there were concerns over his cap management.
In Nieuwendyk, the Stars obviously get an astute smart hockey mind. He is respected throughout the NHL as a leader and a knowledgable hockey man. Additionally, he has some experience the past couple seasons in the front offices in Florida and Toronto. I really don’t think Nieuwendyk will have trouble making this work. With Jackson and others supporting him, Nieuwendyk should have a lot of help with his next challenge.