With a mediocre record of 19-16-3 the Dallas Stars are not where they want to be at the moment. Their CEO Jim Lites isn’t shy on offering his two cents on the situation either.
Lites revealed to Sean Shapiro of The Athletic that he constantly gets texts simply saying “WTF” from team owner Tom Gaglardi and proceeded to go on a tirade about his team, and specifically its biggest stars: Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.
I could try to paraphrase what he said for brevity and ease of understanding, but that would be far less fun than just seeing his ravings. So here are six direct quotations from his ranting for your enjoyment:
“They are fucking horse-shit, I don’t know how else to put it. The team was ok. But (Tyler) Seguin and (Jamie) Benn were terrible.”
“We are a stars-driven league, and our stars aren’t getting it done. It’s embarrassing, and no one writes it. Write it!”
“We’ve had meeting after meeting after meeting. The accountability on the ice is not there. These guys were signed to big contracts because they were the third- and sixth-leading scorers in the National Hockey League over the past five years. They get their money, we expect them to not be outplayed every game we play in. And if they were as good as they’ve been in the past we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
“It’s not about how much money. I don’t resent the money. It’s about what we expect the money to be. You just can’t win if your best players aren’t your best players. And they aren’t best players.”
“He’s hitting posts, ‘wah-wah.” That’s what I say about hitting posts.Get a little bit closer to the action, actually go to the spot where you score goals. He doesn’t do that, he never does that anymore. He used to be a pest to play against, people hated playing against Tyler Seguin, they don’t anymore.”
“These guys have been great players, but we are 40 games into this season and they aren’t getting it done. We are going to sleepwalk to another 14th place from the bottom and miss the playoffs.”
All that could either be read as some brilliant motivating or some raw venting, but either way it’s entertaining. You don’t often see upper management just teeing off on its stars like that.
For what it’s worth, Lites isn’t entirely without a point. In a season where offense has exploded, Seguin and Benn have combined for 62 points in 76 combined games. Both have solid possession numbers, but they aren’t producing like one of the most dangerous duos in hockey – which is what they are paid to be.
Whether Lites’s spiel lights a fire under them remains to be seen, but you could see why he thought it was worth a try.
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