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 DALLAS (AP) -The Dallas Stars fired general manager Doug Armstrong on Tuesday after a disappointing 7-7 start following a third straight exit in the first round of the playoffs.
Armstrong, the Stars general manager since 2002, left team headquarters in suburban Frisco without comment.
No replacement was immediately named. The team said it planned to hire an interim GM.
The firing came three days after the Stars blew a four-goal lead in the third period and lost 6-5 in overtime to the Los Angeles Kings.
``I thought that the team needed a change in direction,'' Stars owner Tom Hicks said. ``I know that change can be healthy, and it was my determination that this move needed to be made.''
Armstrong had been with the Stars for 17 years, serving as assistant general manager when the Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999. He was promoted the same day the Stars fired former coach Ken Hitchcock, and one of his first moves as GM was hiring coach Dave Tippett in 2002. His contract ran through the 2010-11 season.
Stars captain Brenden Morrow said the team sensed a change was imminent.
``I don't know if it's shocking,'' Morrow said. ``It's unfortunate it had to come to that. It's something we didn't get done on the ice.''
With Armstrong as GM, the Stars made the playoffs four times but only advanced past the first round once, when they lost in the 2003 Western Conference semifinals to Anaheim in six games.
The Stars lost 4-1 in the first round to Colorado in 2004 and again in 2006, when Dallas finished the regular season as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
The Stars lost in seven games last season to Vancouver after entering the playoffs as the No. 6 seed.
Dallas' next game is Wednesday at home against San Jose.
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