Reporting From The Local Denny’s
Jim Lites, CEO of the Dallas Stars, pulled the most unprofessional and classless move this Friday, December 28th. Lites requested an interview with media members just to call out Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin for the lack of points they’ve collected this season.
It’s true that both of them are under performing compared to where they would usually be at during this point in the season. Tyler has been hitting every cross-bar and post from here to kingdom come. Jamie has been less aggressive on the ice with less shots on goal than usual. There is a clear difference between talking about these problems with the media and embarrassing yourself and your organization by swearing and cussing out the people who you have built your team upon.
Let’s rewind to Thursday
The problems within the team were first publicly acknowledged after head coach Jim Montgomery spoke with the Dallas Media following team practice on November 27th. At the end of practice, Monty called a team meeting on the ice, afterwards Monty told the media he was “fucking embarrassed” with how practice had gone. Monty didn’t say name or call out specific players, combining it as a team problem. This was the first inclination that something was really wrong. The Stars went on that night and beat the Nashville Predators 2-0, goals coming from Tyler Pitlick and Mattias Janmark.
Montgomery handled the problem like a coach should. He spoke TO the team, when he spoke to the media after practice, he only said 1 swear word to the public. That’s how you handle adult problems (even though we could have done without the swear but whatever.) The team did listen to him because the boys were on fire that night, there were bigger hits and even more energy than we’ve seen in weeks. Apparently the CEO and owner were still not impressed.
The next morning, Lites called a meeting with the media and acted like an absolute child. It’s unknown if Lites at least reached out to Jamie and Tyler prior to going on this public rant. According to Mark Stepneski on Twitter, Lites said “I hope the response is that they show me”, and personally, this leads me to believe that he hadn’t spoken to them prior or after, but whose to say. Due to the public rant, the problem was metastasized, and all eyes in the hockey world are turned to the Stars and what is going to happen next. Lets get to what was said in this meeting.
Let’s start with the most bruising line, shall we? During the interview Lites said:
“They are fucking horse-shit, I don’t know how else to put it,”
For starters, there are a million and one other ways to say this. As a CEO, this is such a classless and, to be honest, asshole way to talk about your own team. Lites intentionally called this meeting just to make a spectacle of what was happening within the organization.
A big thing for Lites was Tyler Seguin’s shiny new contract. Lites said:
“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.”
Jamie and Tyler’s deals are an absolute steal when you can sign two superstars at the price that Chicago pays for just Jonathan Toews alone (and let me add that even Toews is not where he used to be and you don’t see their CEO bitching). In Hockey News, the Dallas Stars we’re ranked 11th of 31 teams when it came to the star power they possessed. Who they named: Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and John Klingberg.
Lites says this like it’s been years since Jamie and Tyler have been on top of their game. Everyone hits slumps and you cannot rest the weight of a season on the shoulders of TWO players when there are Twenty other players out there every night. Jamie is the leader in goals (15) while Tyler leads assists (21) and points (32). Even though they’re in a slump, they’re still leading this team, so where are the other twenty players?
Yes, the boys play is not top-notch but they do NOT deserve this treatment. They have brought so many good things to Dallas, hell they put Dallas on the map. This is not how you treat the people who have made you a contending team. How many Benn and Seguin jerseys do you see around the AAC on game day? Hell, even I own a Benn and Seguin jersey and I live in Chicago! They are the foundation that this team is built on and they’re the ones carrying it.
Overall (because I’ve been in this Denny’s for three hours now and I can keep going), this is blatantly disrespectful and it disregards the feeling of the people involved because it’s one thing to say this face to face with the players and it’s another thing completely to call them out to the public. This situation would be so different if this all stayed in-house but the whole ordeal is so classless to say the least. In the interview, Lites said “It’s embarrassing, and no one writes it. Write it!”
What’s embarrassing is your actions Mr.Lites. So here. I’m writing it.
The article we're talking about: The Athlete Featured Image: Tumblr