Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stars remove interim tag for Brett Hull and Les Jackson

When Doug Armstrong was relieved of his duties as general manager of the Dallas Stars, team owner Thomas Hicks had to make the final decision on who will be the replacement. The day was November 13, 2007. The Stars were 7-10 in their first 17 games and some observers prior to the start of this season wondered if this team would even make the playoffs.

So at that point, Hicks ended up going with two familiar names to take over for Armstrong. It is very unusual to see not one, but two people share the same job. It is very common to see a general manager and an assistant though, so this is something I cannot remember seeing at least in the recent past. Here, the Stars named Brett Hull and Les Jackson as interim co-general managers for the remainder of the season.

Dallas began to turn their season around under Hull and Jackson and finished in 5th place in the Western Conference with a 45-37 record and 97 points. The co-GMs had orchestrated a blockbuster deal at the February 26th trade deadline that brought 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Brad Richards into the fold and certainly that had an impact on the Stars' fortunes.

The Stars open many eyes with their surprising series upset victories over the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks and then the heavily favored San Jose Sharks to reach the Western Conference Finals for the first time in eight years. However, the one team that was clearly a superior club than they were, the Detroit Red Wings ended Dallas' season with six-game series loss. With their solid playoff run, Hicks was convinced that Hull and Jackson were the right hockey people to continue moving the franchise forward to bigger and better things.

So earlier today, Hicks announced that Hull and Jackson were each signed to new three-year contract extensions through the 2010-2011 season to run the Stars' hockey operations together as co-general managers.

"Brett and Les have earned these extensions, doing an excellent job in leading this hockey club this past season," Hicks said. "This unique combination of talents gives us many advantages for our hockey club. Signing Les and Brett to these contracts provides stability for the future. We look forward to building on this year’s relative successes."

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