A person familar with the decision says the Dallas Stars have fired coach Dave Tippett.

The person spoke last night to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the team was not releasing the news.

Letting go of Tippett after six seasons was the first major move made by the club since hiring general manager Joe Nieuwendyk 10 days ago.

Canadian cable sports channel TSN first reported the firing on its Web site Wednesday. The team said it had no news to release.

TSN.ca quoted unidentified sources as saying the Stars had asked for permission to talk to former Los Angeles Kings coach Marc Crawford.


* Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie says he's "one step closer" to bringing the Phoenix Coyotes to southern Ontario. Balsillie made the statement on his Web site, a day after a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on his bid to buy the Coyotes and move them over the objections of the NHL. Judge Redfield T. Baum indicated the NHL is entitled to a relocation fee.

Balsillie painted the issue in a positive light in a message posted at makeitseven.ca.

" . . . the issue of a relocation fee, while a new development, does move us one step closer to bringing the Coyotes to Hamilton," Balsillie said.


* Pittsburgh's 2-1 win over Detroit in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals on Tuesday earned a 4.1 overnight rating and 7 share, NBC said. That's down 7 percent from the 4.4 for last year's Game 6. Unlike in 2008, this year's game went up against the NBA Finals. *