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Source: Stars fire coach Dave Tippett @NHLdotcom

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -The Dallas Stars fired coach Dave Tippett on Wednesday night, the first major move by the team under new general manager Joe Nieuwendyk.

A person familiar with the decision confirmed the firing to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the team was not releasing the news.

The Stars hired Nieuwendyk, who helped them win a Stanley Cup in 1999, 10 days ago.

Canadian cable sports channel TSN first reported the firing on its Web site Wednesday. quoted unidentified sources as saying the Stars had asked for permission to talk to former Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford.

Tippett was hired May 21, 2002, and had a 271-162-59 record in six seasons. The Stars made the postseason in Tippett's first five seasons and won two division titles.

Dallas lost to eventual Stanley Cup winners Detroit in the conference finals in 2008 and came into the season with high aspirations.

But the Stars missed the playoffs for the third time since moving to Dallas in 1993 and for the first time since hiring Tippett in 2002.

Dallas never got on track in part to numerous injuries. The signing of controversial left winger Sean Avery also didn't help.

Stars captain Brenden Morrow (ACL) played in only 18 games, veteran defenseman Sergei Zubov (hip) missed all but seven games, and Brad Richards was out for most of the final two months with hand and wrist injuries.

Avery was suspended for a crude comment regarding his ex-girlfriends dating other hockey players, and Dallas placed him on waivers in February.

Owner Tom Hicks decided to shake up his front office last month. He reassigned co-general managers Brett Hull and Les Jackson within the organization and hired Nieuwendyk, the Conn Smythe Award in '99.


AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.

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