Nieuwendyk Begins Reign of Dallas Stars with Ousting of Tippett

Ian RobinettSenior Analyst IJune 11, 2009

DALLAS - JANUARY 22:   Mike Modano #9 and Joe Nieuwendyk #25 of the 1999 Dallas Stars Stanley Cup team look on during the 1999 Dallas Stars Stanley Cup Reunion at the American Airlines Center on January 22, 2007 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Today will mark a historical day for the Dallas Stars, as they formerly announce Marc Crawford as the 20th coach in franchise history.

The Stars issued a press release confirming Crawford's hiring, and stating an announcement will be made today (Thursday, June 12, 2009) at the American Airlines Center.

When news broke of this last night, I had a bevy of mixed emotions.

To begin with, I was a big fan of Dave Tippett.  His calm and cool demeanor was one I found to be stellar behind the bench.

He got past his playoff demons last season, and injuries killed the team this season, keeping Dallas from returning to the playoffs.

Then comes Joe Nieuwendyk, who I am also a huge fan of.

I saw the move of Les Jackson and Brett Hull out of the Co-General Manager positions, and Nieuwendyk's appointment, as a bold and positive move from the franchise.

Hull and Jackson had said they would be making "big moves" for the franchise, and the addition of Brad Richards.

Then after that nothing "major" happened.

Nieuwendyk's hiring gave me the same kind of hope Jackson and Hull did, and obviously he's doing the same thing from the start.

Just a few days into the job, he gives Tippett the boot for Marc Crawford.

How will this move work?

Crawford is an experienced coach.  In 13 seasons of coaching, he has made eight playoff appearances, and has one Stanley Cup Championship under his belt.

His last three seasons, however, haven't been as stellar as he posted a combined 101-116-29 record with the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings.

I, personally, think this move has the potential to be a solid one for the franchise.

Crawford will bring a new view behind the bench.  He will bring a new mentality to the game, from the mentality of Dave Tippett and Ken Hitchcock.

Ultimately, if this is the beginning of the "Nieuwendyk-era" in Dallas, who knows what to expect next.  The foundation of the team has definitely been rocked, and hopefully he'll be able to bring in the "big-named" talent that Stars fans, like myself, have desired for years. 

If he cannot deliver, and this season marks a fourth consecutive mediocre season for the veteran coach, I foresee this not being a lasting partnership.  If he succeeds, this could help boost the Stars back into the Stanley Cup talk.


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