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Joe Nieuwendyk, left, addresses the media as Dallas Stars owner Tom Hicks listens during a news conference on June 1.

G.J. McCarthy

Dallas Stars' general manager Joe Nieuwendyk didn't wait long to make his presence felt. The former player turned rookie GM has fired head coach Dave Tippett, according to TSN and an independent source.

Tippett had coached the Stars for six seasons but missed the Stanley Cup playoffs this year for the first time Tippett's tenure. The team started slowly then rebounded nicely before bombing out and finishing 12th in the Western Conference.

TSN is reporting that the Stars have asked for permission to talk to Marc Crawford, who was fired by the Los Angeles Kings but remains under contract. Crawford has worked as a colour commentator with CBC.

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Another possibility for the Dallas opening may be Detroit Red Wings' assistant Brad McCrimmon. Nieuwendyk and McCrimmon played together and won a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames. McCrimmon has also been a head coach in major junior hockey.

Tippett had been an assistant with the Kings before being hired by the Stars in 2002 and leading them to a pair of Pacific Division titles. Before L.A., Tippett guided the IHL Houston Aeros to the 1999 Turner Cup as coach and GM. He played 11 seasons in the NHL and scored 262 points.

Nieuwendyk was named GM earlier this month after working with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a special assistant. Stars' owner Tom Hicks hired Nieuwendyk then reassigned Les Jackson and Brett Hull to new posts within the organization.

Jackson has returned to his previous job as director of scouting and player development while Hull is now executive vice-president and alternate governor.

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Sports writer

Allan Maki is a national news reporter and sports writer based in Calgary. More

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