It now seems clear that the Dallas Stars are very unhappy with their star players and it sounds like this is a sentiment that may run through all levels of the Stars organization. Fans will remember the infamous incident that occurred last season when Stars CEO Jim Lites absolutely unloaded on Stars forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, and did so with the backing of Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi. If you happened to miss the comments from Lites last year, here they are:
“He’s pissed,” Lites said last season in reference to text messages he was receiving during games from Gaglardi. “And you know what it’s about.”
“They are fucking horse-s***, I don’t know how else to put it,” Lites said. “The team was ok. But (Tyler) Seguin and (Jamie) Benn were terrible.”
In this case there was no doubt who Lites was referring to because he named both of the players he was unhappy with directly and did so with the intent of having his comments go public. Surprisingly enough the tactic did appear to work somewhat as not long after the Stars managed to turn their season around enough to make it into the playoffs. In fact the Stars would eventually lose in the second round, but it took a 7 game series against the eventual Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues to send them packing last season.
The Stars however had a terrible start to the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season, winning just one of their first 9 games, and once again the criticisms have been loud and clear. This time upper management has stayed out of it however and have let the Stars fan base do all of the talking but funnily enough head coach Jim Montgomery has now joined those criticizing his star players this in spite of the fact that the Stars have gone on a bit of a run lately. Montgomery spoke with members of the media following a 7-2-1 run over their last 10 games and although the turnaround has been good for the Stars, Montgomery was quick to throw his top players under the bus.
Here is how the exchange went:
Report: Are you disappointed with the scoring of the top players?
Jim Montgomery: “Very disappointed.”
Report: Are you seeing signs of progress?
“No, are you?”
Now this certainly does not rise to the level of the rant from Lites last season, but once again it is clear here that both Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are the focus of the criticism. You have to wonder what the relationship between these players and their team is like at this point, especially if the head coach and upper management are seemingly on the same page in this regard.