After six seasons behind the bench in Dallas, the Stars have fired head coach Dave Tippett.
The move comes on the heels of the team naming former Stars' player Joe Nieuwendyk general manager earlier in the month. The Stars fired Tippett despite a solid 271-156-28-37 record in Dallas.
In an ironic twist Tippett was an assistant coach for Canada's silver medal winning squad at the recent IIHF World Hockey Championship where Nieuwendyk was an assistant to former Stars' general manager Doug Armstrong on that team.
While no successor has been named, sources say that the Stars have asked for permission to talk to former Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford, who remains under contract to the Kings. It's not clear at this point whether Crawford has been hired to take Tippet's place or is merely a candidate.
Picked to be a potential Stanley Cup contender this past off-season, the Stars struggled mightily this year, having their season de-railed by the controversy caused by Sean Avery's comments and his subsequent banishment from the team.
The Stars troubles began early on as captain Brendan Morrow and veteran defenceman Sergei Zubov were lost for virtually the entire season with ACL and hip injuries respectively. The team was further sidetracked by forward Brad Richards hand and wrist injuries that caused the former Conn Smythe trophy winner to miss the final two months of the season.
The Stars finished the season in 12th spot in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for the first time during Tippett tenure in the Lone Star state.
Tippett was hired by the Stars from the Los Angeles Kings, where he was an assistant, in May 2002 and led the team to two Pacific Division titles.
The Moosomin, Saskatchewan native also played 11 seasons in the NHL and accumulated 93 goals and 169 assists in 721 career games. Following his playing career, Tippett led the IHL's Houston Aeros to the 1999 Turner Cup while serving the dual role of general manager and head coach.