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DALLAS The Dallas Stars are parting ways with general manager and former player Joe Nieuwendyk.

"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," said owner Tom Gaglardi in a statement posted on the team's website Sunday morning. "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."

The team said it would name Nieuwendyk's successor at an 11 a.m. news conference on Monday.

Head coach Glen Gulutzan and some players confirmed that Nieuwendyk's departure was a done deal after the team's season finale on Saturday night, a 3-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

"Joe has been tremendous for me," Gulutzan said. "I think he's done a hell of a job ... he's the guy that hired me and a guy that I've become close to, and he's taught me a lot."

Nieuwendyk was hired four years ago, and during his first season he probably made his best move trading for goalie Kari Lehtonen.

Other player moves haven't worked out so well, although Nieuwendyk's big moves this season the fire-sale trades that saw the departure of Jaromir Jagr, Derek Roy, and longtime captain Brenden Morrow may have been just right for the struggling team.

However it turns out, Nieuwendyk won't be around to see it.

As a player, he was part of the Stars' Stanley Cup championship season in 1999. He was on the Stars' roster from 1995-2002, scoring a total of 178 goals.

The Stars ended their season at home on Saturday night with a meaningless game against the Detroit Red Wings, after failing for the fifth consecutive year to earn a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Nieuwendyk played in 1,257 NHLgames for five different teams.He had two 50-goal seasons, two 40-goal seasons and four 30-goal seasons during his career.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

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