FRISCO, TEXAS—The Dallas Stars missed making the playoffs by two points and that ended up costing Head Coach Marc Crawford his job. As the players were cleaning out their lockers at their headquarters in Frisco, General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk fired Crawford after missing the playoffs in each of his two seasons.
"I would like to thank Marc for the hard work he provided to the Dallas Stars over the last two seasons," Nieuwendyk said. "We wish him the best in the future."
The Stars were hoping that Crawford's experience in winning the 1996 Stanley Cup win in Colorado would pay dividends here but he never came close. He finished with a winning record of 79-60-25 over the past two seasons but not making the playoffs became his downfall. Still, Nieuwendyk believes Crawford's tenure wasn't a set back but has actually moved the franchise toward another title. "I'm really proud of some of the things we've accomplished over the last couple of seasons," Nieuwendyk said. " I feel much stronger about our group and where we are today then where we were last year and Marc deserves a lot of credit for that and our players do as well, they've bought in to what we're trying to do."
The Stars got off to a good start winning 30 of the first 49 games but finished 12-16-6 over the final part of the season and missed the playoffs by just two points after losing to Minnesota on Sunday.
" It's difficult when we don't make the playoffs," Nieuwendyk said. "Ultimately that is the goal, and the goal is to win playoff series and challenge for a Stanley Cup. I believe and know that we are making steps towards that, unfortunately it wasn't good enough this year, even with 95 points in an extremely tough conference and even more tough division. This is why we have to get better, we have to be with the elite teams in the conference."
Crawford is the fourth NHL coach to lose his job in the last four days and the Stars have not commented about a possible replacement yet.