Joe Nieuwendyk

Official: Stars fire GM Joe Nieuwendyk


What was just a report last night is now official.

The Dallas Stars have fired Joe Nieuwendyk as the team’s general manager after four years in the role. It’s believed Detroit Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill will be hired to fill the position. Nieuwendyk’s contract with the Stars was set to expire after next season.

Nieuwendyk was hired in May of 2009 and while he’s made some shrewd moves during his tenure, he’ll likely be remembered by NHL fans as the guy who lost out on a pair of deals with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The trade that sent James Neal and Matt Niskanen to the Pens for Alex Goligoski now lives in infamy after Neal became a monster goal scorer alongside Evgeni Malkin while Niskanen emerged as one of their more consistent defenders. Goligoski has done well in Dallas, but the others’ performances turned the deal into a lopsided one.

Brenden Morrow’s performance in Pittsburgh this season is also not helping Nieuwendyk’s image as an executive while helping Pens GM Ray Shero look like a wizard.

Now it’ll likely be up to Nill to figure out how best to surround guys like Jamie Benn in Texas.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.