Wed Dec 10 03:31pm EST
After Sean Avery was suspended indefinitely by the NHL, Dallas Stars Co-General Manager Brett Hull was asked on TSN whether he felt betrayed by the player whose signing Hull strongly -- some would say defiantly -- advocated for during the summer.
"The last thing I'm worried about is me. I'm worried about how he let his teammates down," said Hull. "I think the day that I decide to stop taking risks to do everything we can to make the Dallas Stars a winning team is the day I'll quit."
That day may never come, according to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, who writes that Hull may be removed from his co-GM position in the aftermath of the Avery debacle:
Several NHL sources have indicated that within the next couple of weeks the Stars' co-GM experiment with Brett Hull and Les Jackson will be history. Speculation is Hull will move to another area of the organization and will be out of the decision making process when it comes to hockey matters.
As Michael Farber points out for SI, Hull isn't the first GM to make what some feel is a gigantic mistake in judgment. But it's not just vouching for Sean Avery that could have Hull demoted. There's also the accusation that he ... uh ... doesn't actually do anything in his job.
Let's go back to October 2008; a much simpler time when sloppy seconds were still something you bring home from an Indian restaurant. Here's Hull speaking with Terry Frei of ESPN about his gig with the Stars:
On the Dallas Stars' organizational chart, Les Jackson and Brett Hull are listed as co-general managers.
Their division of labor?
"Les does all the work, and I get all the credit," Hull said recently with a wry smile.
Same ol' Brett. "It's true!" Hull added. "Les does all the work. He's done it for so long, he's already ingrained on that side of it. I'm a glorified intern, really, trying to learn things as I go. We work it where Les makes all the calls because you can't have two people calling all over the league. We have to have one voice, and we have the same ideas about how we want to build a team, what it takes to win and the people we want in our organization, and that really makes it easy."
Oh, that Hull-ian whimsy! Problem is that Ken Campbell is reporting Jackson actually does all the work, while Hull enjoys having a good seat at the game:
Hull's insistence on signing Avery in the face of opposition from everyone else in the hockey department will undoubtedly be a factor in the move, but sources also say Hull isn't really fulfilling the GM duties beyond watching the Stars play.
Hull hasn't been to see any of the Stars' minor pro prospects play this season, nor has he been to scout any games in Europe, college or junior hockey. Unlike other former NHL stars such as Steve Yzerman, Joe Nieuwendyk and Al MacInnis - none of whom are GMs, but aspire to be - Hull was handed the portfolio with no experience and really hasn't bided his time or learned the craft under the tutelage of someone with experience.
This makes Hull, what, a consultant? An idea man, whose primary contribution was a four-year contract for a player no longer welcome in the Dallas locker room?
So Brett Hull, the Co-General Manager may go the way of Brett Hull, the NBC Analyst, in the sense it's the second time he's flopped in a job he only received based on name recognition.
Can't you hear the conversation between Stars owner Tom Hicks and "Hullie" now ...
Hicks: You see, what we're actually trying to do here is, we're trying to get a feel for how people spend their day at work ... so, if you would, would you walk us through a typical day, for you?
Hull: Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door -- that way Les Jackson can't see me -- and, uh, after that I just sorta space out for about an hour.
Hicks: Dah ... uh ... space out?
Hull: Yeah, I just stare at that picture of me in the crease scoring on Hasek, but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work. The thing is, Tom, it's not that I'm lazy -- it's that I just don't care.
Hicks: Don't... don't care?
Hull: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Dallas wins a few extra regular season games, I don't see another dime; so where's the motivation?