After helping the Calgary Flames win the Stanley Cup in 1989, Joe Niewendyk had a 45-goal season in 1989-90 to lead the team for the third season in a row. A knee injury in the summer of 1991 forced Joe to miss the first 11 games of the 1991-92 season in which he became the 12th Captain in franchise history.
Niewendyk held out in the start of the 1995-96 season after being unhappy with his contract status and while he was willing to take the $1.85 million contract awarded to him in arbitration, he wanted it worked into a long-term deal. He rejected a 3-year $6 million offer and after holding out for the start of the season, he was traded to the Dallas Stars on December 19, 1995 in exchange for some kid named Jarome Iginla and Corey Millen.
Joe spent about six years in Dallas and while most of them were mediocre, in 1999 he helped the Stars win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. He scored 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points and 6 game winning goals making him a lock for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs. Injuries plagued Joe during his stint in Dallas and on March 19, 2002 he was traded to the New Jersey Devils with Jamie Langenbrunner for Jason Arnott, Randy McKay and a 1st round pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
While with the Devils, Niewendyk hoisted the Stanley Cup for the third time with three different teams. Niewendyk didn’t play due to an injury sustained in the Eastern Conference Final. Joe signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 2003-04 season but was once again plagued by injuries to his abdomen, back and groin. Niewendyk signed with the Florida Panthers in 2005 along with Flames and Leafs teammate Gary Roberts. During the 2006-07 season, he was forced onto injury reserve with back pain and subsequently announced his retirement on December 7, 2006.
Internationally Joe won a Gold Medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
After hockey, Joe turned to the front end of the game beginning with the Florida Panthers where he served as a consultant to General Manager Jacques Martin in 2007. The next year he served as a special assistant to General Manager Cliff Fletcher with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also served as assistant General Manager for Team Canada at the 2009 World Hockey Championships. On June 1, 2009 he was named the General Manager of the Dallas Stars.
He was released by the Stars after the 2012-13 season and in 2014 became a pro scout and advisor for the Carolina Hurricanes.