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Joe Nieuwendyk Leaves Toronto: To Become Dallas Stars GM

Joenieuw This Joe Nieuwendyk fellow just cannot hold down a job.

One year he's working for the Florida Panthers under GM Jacques Martin. The next, he's in Toronto, working in the Maple Leafs front office.

Today, he's working for his third team in three years.

Of course, Nieuwendyk has moved up the ranks quite a bit: He's the new GM of the Stars.

Great opportunity for Joe Nieuw, a cool guy with a great hockey mind. I think he's going to do just fine running his own franchise.

''I am very excited about returning to the Dallas Stars as General Manager," Nieuwendyk said in a statement.

"I am ready for this opportunity. The Dallas Stars have built a winning tradition over the years and I want to help continue that legacy. My family is very excited about returning to Dallas. I have great memories from my playing days with the Stars and look forward to helping this team win as general manager."

Brett Hull and Les Jackson, the Stars' co-GMs, have been reassigned.

Nieuwendyk helped lead the Stars to the Stanley Cup championship in 1999, and also won Cups with Calgary and New Jersey. He signed with the Panthers along with pal Gary Roberts soon after the lockout ended, with Nieuwendyk playing parts of two seasons with the Cats before serious back problems forced him to retire in the middle of the 2006-07 season.

Nieuwendyk played 80 games with the Panthers, but only 15 in 2006 when chronic back pain forced him into retirement.

Some of my favorite Newy moments with the Panthers include his diatribe in the 2005-06 season after a horrendous game in Los Angeles.

On Halloween night 2007, Nieuwendyk spoke to his former teammates in the locker room, his pep talk leading to three unanswered goals in the third period as the Panthers rebounded to beat the Carolina Hurricanes.

"He definitely gave us a wake-up call. Enough is enough," captain Olli Jokinen said moments after Florida beat Carolina 4-2 at BankAtlantic Center.

"We came out with a fire in our eyes. He believes in us. He knows how good we can be."

Nieuwendyk, who was working under JM during that time, left the team at the end of the 2007-08 season and ended up working in Toronto -- with the team that he left to sign with the Panthers after the lockout.